Take the long way home


I am bundled up on a Tulsa couch as the sun rises behind my left shoulder.

Highway and heater noises whir a soothing song, while the giant pup and her family sleep.

This afternoon, I’ll repack the Vibe and head north for a few cow-filled rambling hours on the journey home. No matter the directness of my route, I will choose to take the long way home.

So I will travel past the Toot Sweet highway-side food joint, through Emporia’s front-porch-of-the-Flint-Hills way, in the arms of stone-piled prairie, and try to notice every oddkin and sweetness on this trip towards Manhappiness.
The long way home.

Which seems to be the way of a hopeful life; we live and sometimes leave much behind. Often, when our funky little hearts are squeezed of all life blood, we must find the strength to leave…escape and in the traveling, lay down what so easily encumbers us. Fear, bitterness, despair, weariness, victim-y anchors, violence, habits that eat up our souls and threaten our very lives, the notion of “look pretty and be sweet”, silence, assumptions, and so much more.

If you were to look along the exiling trail of this passing season, you’d see first the marks of an awakening sleeper – punch drunk with veiled violence – crawling away from the scenes of the crime.

There would be markers along the early way when very little movement was made except the wobbly steps of a once strong and merry adventurer. The way would pass a sheltering room where kindness and love and “Gracie” drew me forward.

You would certainly see the steps of those who nursed me back to life when life seemed too much to bear. Meandering walks through cypress forests, a dodge out for coffee…patience as the darkness threatened to consume the way already made.

And the tentative beginnings of Autumn adventures; hopeful steps forward  leaning on the courage and foresight of those family and friends.

With winter came snow and snow and snow and the delight of it resuscitated my heart where rigor mortis had begun. Laughter returned and with it the thawing that brings life and pain – like the pins and needles and ache of frostbitten hands as they awake and life begins to circulate again.

In the season of snow and winter colors, I began taking the long way home from work, the store, Barnes road, friends’…even the library which is only a block and a half away.

I am looking for something that requires a slowing down to see.

Looking for the dad carrying his pink-swathed baby on his chest while he pushes another in a stroller.

Looking for the hands that are held
colors filling the sky
birds of prey in their brilliant beautiful terrifying hunt
books to enjoy
smiles to savor
green to emerge
kindness to silently observe and cheer

for proof of life.

Proof that this living is as rich as I’d hoped
even when living felt like dying.

Proof that there are still sweet surprises out there
where looking out for number one means looking out for all

birdsong in the air

days of salty ocean hair

stories to fill us up with courage
and friends who will explore
high and low places
and days
… allowing that ice cream does sometime equal “dinner.”

I think that this “long way home” saves some of us 
from the fearful and mediocre

and makes this short life
a little wider.

Still looking for the North Star.


About allielousch

Engaged in everyday adventures and derring do.
This entry was posted in Happiness-es and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Take the long way home

  1. Jutta Zelko says:

    What a great writer

  2. Shelley Faerber Camba says:

    Allie, check out http://www.theworkofthepeople.com inspiring messages that make me want to share with you each time I watch a vignette. Mercy and I would love to paint and play with you soon.

  3. sara choe says:

    taking the long way = meeting lovely fellow travelers, n’est-ce pas?

  4. sara choe says:

    i’ve found that the long way allows for good company. 😉

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