The Long Way Home.
Sometimes you’re not in a hurry. Other times you can’t get from Point A to Point B fast enough.
Sometimes you have an innate sense of direction and always know where you are going…and other times finding your way to your destination is a bit of an ordeal.
If you’re one of those folks who don’t immediately know which direction they are headed without someone giving you a hint your struggle is real if you live in Maine, and even more real, and more of a struggle if you live on a farm in Maine. Because not only can you NOT possibly get There from Here, the directions will be given in some sort of code talk that only makes sense to someone who knew what the landscape and neighborhood looked like in 1937. The fact is that the struggle to get from one field to another, or from one dot on a map to another is something more than one of us shares in these parts and today that struggle was shared by a very, very, very long line of vehicles who in the end I don’t think minded taking the long way home.
There is no disputing the fact that this day was a perfect day for a long drive. The sky a beautiful blue with picture perfect clouds. The foliage not at its brightest but no longer denying that summer has gone. The sun even seemed happy to stick around. To be perfectly honest, hardly a one of the vehicles on the road today from a little, beautiful, small town Catholic church in Bingham to a little clearing near Town House Hill in Clinton would have chosen to be off for a drive today, despite the picturesque scenery and bright sunlight. But, here they were, lined up in solitary file following the black vehicles in the lead, headlights on, destination: home.
Down that god forsaken hill and up the unforgiving other side, past the farm and down the road one last time. The dog at the end of the corn field barking “hello” and “good bye” just because he has missed doing so when the boxer in training would jog by.
Maybe it wasn’t planned to take the long way around; to drive by home one last time; to follow the road that had been run so many times; to linger a bit at a slow pace wondering which way to go. Maybe it wasn’t planned that way, but it was perfect nonetheless because finding our way from where we are to where we are going isn’t always easy and it sometimes takes us on an unplanned adventure. Sometimes finding our way from Point A to Point B isn’t our strongest suit, but we have other gifts we share that make up for that. And sometimes…sometimes, taking the long way home is exactly what’s needed because you realize that no matter how lost you may feel home is right there waiting for you.
It’s been a long, long year of saying goodbyes to the people we love and being shocked by their sudden and merciless leavings. Today we said good bye to Joel Bishop and tomorrow we will get up, milk cows, tend crops and hope that this good bye is the last good bye for a long, long while.