“If you know wilderness in the way you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go.” Terry Tempest Williams
Maybe it was because one of my after school Thursday chores was dusting. Or that my tennis shoes were never white. That winter’s snowballs often contained bruising tiny pebbles. Or that my mom’s car forever needed washing. There were many reasons to dislike the gravel of Van Dyke road. I felt unmodern. Somehow behind. I had a sense of urgency to catch up. To go beyond. And certainly the graveled pace of this childhood road was only slowing me down.
I chased the pavement. Off to school. Jobs. Apartments. Books and art. Creation. Life. Smooth beneath, it all went so fast. My bike. My car. Even my shoes clicked along at a feverish pace.
A country away, I hear it again, the slow crunch of gravel beneath my feet as I walk my daily route. My feet found their way back to the wilderness they ran from. Tiny pebbles say, “but you were hurt there.” Yes, I whisper. Massive rocks that line hills and turn into mountains say, “But you were loved there.” “Yes!” I shout.
I have paid and paved my way in dust. Love walks with me. Slowing me down? Enough to see, I think. To feel. And I will never let it go.