Rough Road Ahead!

We’ve been heading north to our camp for a few hours every weekend, spending almost as much time driving as we do puttering about the place. It’s worth it – garlic and alliums have been planted as has the narcissus, and we’ve begun the work of making our cabin weather-tight.

It’s a simple thing to get to our cabin once you get to Camden. Just head up Van Buren to the last electric pole on the road and go a bit beyond that. We’re the first cattle gate on the right, and then just up the ridge to the meadow. Easy as pie, once you get to Camden.

Getting to Camden, however, has had some minor challenges. The western route takes you up 81… which had been undergoing much needed construction. There were several weekends when we avoided the traffic cones and the single lane in preference for the congestion in Sylvan Beach. It’s lovely to have options – to know what challenges are ahead and to make choices that mitigate the danger or frustration and help you to avoid the rough roads.

Then there’s the Fall of 2020.

My calendar shows several upcoming holidays preprinted on the page, like tattooed names of former partners. They remind me of all the plans that will need to be revised to accommodate a virus that is insistent on being accounted for. There are various work assemblies and meetings that will all be translated to zoom affairs where everyone continues to try and do their best, but without the actual sharing of space it feels lifeless.

These are events that are known to me. I can therefore plan for them and find decent work-arounds to avoid the rough roads. I know where I’ll need to slow down and will prepare accordingly. It won’t be the same drive as in previous years but somehow I know I’ll get there. Some things escape the ability to peg with a date and time – we may need to close church doors again if the virus flares up in our communities (see Cuomo’s new guidelines on this: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-new-cluster-action-initiative). Still, we can plan for these particular rough roads as we’ve been down them before.

The November 3rd election is a road we need to travel with no available detours. It is an unknown stretch… but there are some suggestions that it may be more than a bit bumpy. There are no creative work-arounds and no waiting for the construction to be complete (in fact, we may actually be part of the construction crew!). So, what do we do when there is potential rough road ahead?

  • We make certain what we’re driving is sound. Check the tires and the frame, look for rust. 
  • We pack snacks to share. Yes, I’m serious. We make sure that there is good nutritious stuff to ingest and we share it with those on the journey with us.
  • We travel together… that way, if one of us breaks down the others can provide a lift.
  • We turn the dial on the radio (hah… remember dials?) to good music, and we surround ourselves with sounds of beauty.
  • We tell stories that remind us of our courage and strength, and we find reasons to laugh.
  • We pack a good map that reminds us of the big picture and that we’re not alone in the universe (let’s make it a world atlas, shall we?)
  • We keep our eyes focused ahead… and on what matters.

Friends, the best thing we can do to prepare for this road we must go down is to prepare for it faithfully…. and now is the time to begin doing that work. I know it feels like it’s all out of our control (and much of it is!) but we still have some agency. Let’s do that work together.

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