Lessons From the Road

I enjoy road trips with my husband.  It is a great opportunity to enjoy good conversation, good music, and good singing.  Well, perhaps good singing might be a stretch, but we sure enjoy belting out some of our favorites!  A road trip is also an opportunity to be still and contemplate. I found myself looking at some things we saw on this trip in a new light.

I took this picture while we were driving over a mountain pass where avalanche is not uncommon.  There is a kind of wire mesh netting hanging down over the rock-face along this stretch of the road that is intended to stop rock from falling onto the highway.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have protection like this against avalanche in our own lives? Avalanches like a late night phone call bringing bad news or a call from a doctor’s office asking you to come in to discuss recent test results. Just something to soften the sudden blows that hit us head-on sometimes.

Instead, we go through these things the best way we can at the time using personal strength that we didn’t know we posessed.  We struggle, we cry, we despair, but ultimately, if we allow the trials to teach us things, we find that we come through them stronger and wiser than we were before.

Robert Frost wrote that “the best way out is always through”.  There is no short cut to navigating our way through grief or depression; we must allow ourselves to give in to the experience, however painful it may be, in order to make it through to the other side.  Without this “giving in” and “going through” we find ourselves stuck in the darkness.  This stretch of mountain pass highway, cut right through a piece of mountain, reminds me of Frost’s words. 

Every time I go over this piece of road that goes through the rocky mountain, I take something away.  The last time it had to do with determination and this time it reminds me of the need to let go of some things.

I wonder if the men and women who labored so hard to build this road had any idea that there were creating something that would be a source of inspiration to someone. 


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Thank you for sharing this story, Linda. I appreciated both your beautiful writing and the strong connection I felt to your words. It reminded me of my recent road trip to Austin, the alone, contemplative time on the road for 4,000 miles, the renewed energy I gained at the SCN Conference, and my arrival home with inner shifts that are now becoming new parts of my journey.

  2. I'm glad it resonated, Mary Jo. I've thought often about your road trip since returning home from Austin.

  3. There's a similar place in the San Juan mountains in Colorado when we go to our favorite towns of Silverton and Ouray, complete with tunnel to "go through". Every time I travel that way now, I will think on your words and ponder. Thanks for this sharing of your thoughts, Linda.

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