Take the back roads instead of the highways. - Minnie Pearl
Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost
Recently, as I was returning home from a few days out of town, backroads and byways I'd never before traversed beckoned me to follow. I headed their call. Vistas vast and seemingly unending greeted me as I followed the winding twists and turns of the road.
I was struck by the reflection of the surrounding scene in the window of this one-room schoolhouse. I thought to myself what an amazing thing it must have been to have such views encompassing one while learning.
One room schoolhouse - Fruita, Utah
This scene seemed to capture a sense of homecoming, of peace and serenity, after a day spent eking out a living amidst the beautiful but often unforgiving terrain. I am in awe of the perseverance and courage it must have taken to settle and thrive in the shadows of the redrock.
Gifford Farm, Capitol Reef, Utah
I think perhaps a little bit of their pioneering spirit lives on in me because as I left the majestic landscape behind me I longed to stay and explore. Yet on that day I had to finish my journey home. Still, it seems as though a part of me was left there wandering among the monoliths and crags awaiting the time when I return again.
Yes, I do exist - despite rumors to the contrary...
“I restore myself when I'm alone."― Marilyn Monroe
As I was driving through the natural beauty of Capitol Reef, I noted that periodically off the side of the paved trail there were little green signs staked into the ground. I finally decided to stop for a moment to see what information they were meant to impart to those who travelled on the long and winding road. The signs stated that all along the trail were "restoration areas" and urged passers-by to "stay off" in order to allow the restoration effort to be as successful as possible. I wondered how often we trample (sometimes unknowingly) on others who may be in the beginning stages of a "restoration" themselves. Do we jump to conclusions about who they are and what their lives are like? Do we rush in with ready-made solutions when all they really may need is a listening ear, or even just a little bit of time to work through and process things on their own? Do we sometimes stunt others' growth by our preconceived notions of what we think their problem is or what the "right" solution is - at least in our minds? How often have we been in a state of "restoration" ourselves when someone has unwittingly tromped across our own fragile growth that may be struggling to push its way through to the surface? How many times have we put on a good front when deep inside what we really need is a moment or two to step back, reassess, and restore ourselves? Maybe we all should pay a bit more attention to the "signs" that let us know that someone just might need an extra smile or hug; a shoulder to lean on or a listening ear. Though the words in this song speak about a divine restorer and restoration, I think it can apply just as much to each of us and our relationships with those around us.
May we all be tools of restoration, rather than destruction, in the lives of those with whom we pass through this mortal coil.
Restore Me - Anthony Evans
On the outside, You think I'm alright
There's a smile on my face, everything's okay
But on the inside there's a different story
I've stumbled down this road and I've got so far to go
I'm a broken man
On my knees again
Longing for a touch from You
I need your hand to
Restore me, I need Your mercy
Take me to the place I used to be
Use all the pain and the hurt
To do a greater work and restore me
I wore my mask, running away from my past
Hiding all my scars, thinking I'd gone too far
But He knew my pain and He loved me just the same
He promised, I'd be free if I fell on my knees and cried