In Your Going Out and Your Coming In

holiday trafficI’m trying to picture you now. Are you in the traffic? Are you in line at the airport, waiting to wrestle with your shoes and belt and outerwear to get through Security?

In either case, you’re probably there with hundreds of others, since the record shows that the biggest travel day of the whole year is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 

Are you on a train now, rocking slowly back to the land of your childhood? 

Are you on a bus, as I was this last week?

For me riding the bus is an experience as singular and familiar as the smell of wet mittens after a snowball fight. When we get on a bus we are all children again.  Anyway, we know we’re no longer driving.

Folks board a bus and automatically start heading for the back, I notice.

It’s very dear and human, the way we all think there are greener pastures ahead, but on the bus the plan often backfires: You’re just as likely to splash up against that rear wall and then be forced to backtrack, this time against the tide of your fellow boarders, having found no better seat there than the ones you passed along the way.

Me, I look for a seat as close to the driver as I can and, in my mind at least, keep him company.

On fine days a person can see forever out those big bus windows. On rainy ones like today, the windshield wipers tock to the left and right like a metronome.

The bus keeps its nose down, inhaling the road, as the anteater inhales its tiny victims.

Beside you, smaller vehicles pass or are passed. You can look down into them like a god from your greater height. 

Here now: here is a person fiddling with the controls on his radio. Here is one stretching one arm and then the other up toward the car ceiling.

Here are two talking a mile a minute to each other.

Here is one piloting the vehicle in seeming friendlessness, as his passengers all lean and snooze together beside and behind him.

You could say we are all on the road and we’re all heading home.

So I‘ll ask it again here: Are you in traffic right now, or waiting in line? Are you flying over the land or rocketing about inside it on some underground channel?

Are there people beside you? Take a look at them. Admire the complexity of the human ear, or the bare limb like a table-leg deftly and turned on a lathe by some skilled Artisan?

Are you venturing out as you read this? Bless you in your going out and your coming in then, from this time forth and forever as it says in the Bible, but especially in this small season designed for giving thanks.

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3 thoughts on “In Your Going Out and Your Coming In

  1. I love this writing, Terry. What is he or she doing at any moment – those we love and are not with us? It brings up his image. It’s a poignant thought. Thank you for it.

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