A Week on the Road

I just spent a lovely week roadtripping around the Midwest.  I drove east from the Twin Cities across Wisconsin to Port Washington for a day, and then down to Cedarburg for another day.  From there, I drove down through Beloit, curved around the underside of Rockford, Illinois, and cut west to Stockton for a wedding.  Then I stayed in Galena for a couple nights before shooting over into Iowa and heading up through southern Minnesota to get home.  Overall, the trip was an 887-mile loop.

This trip had no justice-intent behind it; the only reason I hit the road was to see friends.  As someone who has done a lot of traveling, both with groups and alone, it is easy for me to forget that taking off to visit someone in a new place can be an intimidating prospect for some people.  When I tell friends that I live in Minnesota, I notice that the idea of taking a trip to visit me seems daunting to them.  (After all, Minnesota is hundreds of miles from anywhere else, and out-of-staters tend to dislike the mandatory parka that is part of our state dress code.)  However, I still want to see my friends, so when I have a week free, I like to use it to go visiting—especially when there’s the excuse of a wedding to see lots of friends all in one place at the same time!

The problem, though, is that no matter how carefully I try to plan, I can never see all the people I wish I could have seen.  Even the people that I did get to see, I wish I could have visited longer with them!  Still, I was able to see two friends from my grade-school days, one friend I met on a trip earlier this year, two ministerial colleagues, and over twenty friends from college.  I helped paint a friend’s house, ate more French pastries than were really a good idea, had lovely meals with good company, read a poem at my friend’s wedding, and visited a colleague’s church the week before his formal installation.  Not too shabby for a five-day trip!

I find myself being mindful of how many blessings I received this week.  As we enter into the month of Thanksgiving, I want to remember to be thankful for all the wonderful people in my life: old friends and new; colleagues and congregants; fellow students and professors; those who have taught me and those who have allowed me a chance to share.  The circle of my loved ones has expanded so very much, even just in this past year.

And though I have not met all of my dear readers, I want to thank you for touching my life.  It is because you read that I write.  Thank you for your written responses, your silent support, and your readiness to engage in dialogue when we meet in person.  Your presence has truly been a gift, and I thank you for it.

-lm

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About Leaping Loon

I am an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister serving our congregation in Elgin, Illinois. While I am determined to embrace my propensity to wander, it oftentimes takes a leap of faith to do so. My life's motto seems to be: "Leap, and the net will appear." True to my spirit, and following Love's call, I must simply free myself to go. Where will I end up? Let's find out. Welcome to my journey!
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