I've driven up Love Creek Road countless times, ever since I was a small girl, and hardly a time goes by when I don't feel overjoyed when I turn off the highway and make my way up that winding, uneven ribbon that connects me to my soul affectionately known as "The Road." I always feel such incredible gratitude for my grandparents for having had the foresight to purchase this land - our family's legacy - all those years ago on which I have spent countless hours playing, dreaming, living, loving and growing.
There have been moments in every season when I have marveled, in tears, at the beauty of this road. In summer, the warmth of mid-morning seems to ooze out of every leaf, giving off that particular dusty smell that is only recognizable June through mid-September.
Autumn brings the parade of rusts and oranges of oak
, roses and pinks of dogwood, bright yellows of maple, and apples, apples, apples. The rains come again, with that wonderful scent of earth
rising, singing to my interior to prepare, to hunker down, to can and put away, to hibernate.
For winter is just around the bend, with its all-encompassing cold bearing the beauty of lacy black branches painted with ice crystals and pine
boughs that look like white boxing gloves. The road is an ice palace, a carriage ride through Varykino in Dr. Zhivago
. It is absolutely breathtaking.
Then, spring comes with hesitant daffodils, gentle buds
of dogwood, the small curls of oak leaves, green shoots in the meadow under a varnish of frost and whisps of woodstove smoke floating through the canyon. It is the new day, the coming 'round of the year to its next birth.
The Road is my beacon in many ways. When I am feeling lost, afraid, faraway or confused, I bring my mind's eye to its grey patches and cracks, reminding me that life's journey is far from pristine. I mentally drive along its twists and turns, feeling calmer by the second as I recall particular turns in the creek dancing alongside, mom's mailbox, the "Forever" sign hanging above her bench in the gently sloping meadow, the barns, my hugging tree, the apple orchard. The colors and smells, the sounds of God whispering through the trees… all of it brings me back home to my heart and soul.
It is a rare gift to have such a place to actually visit when I feel overwhelmed by the world or simply need to recharge my internal batteries. To know that I can go any time I wish holds a sense of freedom and security I can hardy describe. It warms my heart to no end to know, too, that my children feel the same way about this place, this road. That they have had the opportunity to grow up on The Road and learn to love and revere its beauty and depth is the greatest gift I could ever have given them.
I wish for everyone a place like this, whether in reality or imagination. I believe that well all have a place inside where we reconnect with our deepest selves, each other and Spirit. My wish is that these places are as magical, restorative and empowering as The Road.