Friday night I crossed the Mississippi for the first time in a couple years, beginning a drive to Dallas that I have not made in far longer. I felt uneasy. I’ve never been one to worry about the perils of the road. More often than not, it simple doesn’t cross my mind. So why was the start of this journey so different?
A five year old boy who didn’t want me to go.
His concern bled into my thoughts, making me far more aware that any trip bears the risk of being the last. I was a bit surprised just how dark my own thoughts could be, and what fantastic visions my mind could create for an untimely demise. I had a few laughs at the absurd stories I told myself, even as I felt the unexplainable fear that spawned them. A fear that I later realized wasn’t really my own. That realization came as I filled up the tank just west of the river. It was a gift of the wind. The wind that came from nowhere, a note of refreshing chill cutting through the summer heat, a preface of the storms to come, and, for me, a herald of adventure. It’s the wind that always makes me hunger for a journey. It’s the wind that ten years ago, nearly led me to follow a friend into the airport, buy a one way ticket somewhere, and leave everything behind. I love that wind, but as I began my trip I realized that there is also a new wind blowing in my life. It’s the wind that will always lead me home.
Right now, there are people who need me near. One of them is that five year old boy. And, truth be told, I probably need them as much as they need me. It’s nice to discover a new wind blowing. The wind of adventure still blows and it still fills me with excitement as it invites me to wander, but now there is a wind that reminds me I have a place to be, a place called home. One that feels like home because of the people who wait for me there,