Not Like a Road
Life is not very much like a road.
I don’t know who started that one. Maybe in a time or place where people had fewer choices in life or roads were less reliable.
If anything, it’s more like being dropped from a plane randomly over any kind of terrain, you have no idea ahead of time–rain forest? savannah? Siberia? most challenging of all…New York?
And while you’re dazed and confused, the plane flies off, and there you are, trying to get your bearings.
No map. People try to describe to you what landmarks to look for (Mr. Right, kids, a job), but you may or may not ever even come across them, and if you do, you may not be able to recognize them from the description. It’s not that you’re entirely on your own–you can ask friends and family to give you tips or describe those landmarks again; in fact, sometimes they’ll do that plenty without you asking–but think about how often a friend has gotten you totally and completely lost when giving you directions to her house. Something relatively straightforward, after all.
It’s up to you what you pack, or mostly up to you. Sometimes it depends on what you can find. But it’s tricky, since you have to pack for any and all eventualities, including the eventuality that you might find yourself hiking for weeks with that pack, so you want to keep it under thirty pounds.
That’s easier when you’re starting out. It gets harder as you go along. There are so many more things you don’t want to lose.
Life is not very much like a road. But sometimes you can figure out where you want to go and get there, nevertheless.
It really does look like this, you know. It smells even better.
So some people might be wondering why in the world I am not spending this June, lavender season, in Provence?
It’s because I am writing about roses. This current book is set in the rose season in Provence.
And thinking about how this girl who grew up landlocked in a small Southern town is going off to roseraies in Provence as if it was a fairly normal part of life to do this…that’s what got me thinking about roads.