Going with the flow, meandering home to me

An unexpected surprise, Harlow Organic Farm Stand

On my run, yesterday morning, I saw a house with a sign in the window that read, “Life In The Slow Lane”. Just as I was running past,  a woman came outside and I waved and said good morning. She hesitated for a moment and then said with a smile, “You are a brave woman”. I knew that she was talking about running in the heat (it was about 7 am, and already hot and humid). I was going to say something back about the weather, as a little voice in my head said, “Just accept the compliment.” I simply said, “Thank you.”

I also chose to drive a different route home yesterday…a longer, unfamiliar route. This was a “brave” and unusual decision for me.  I’ve been the type of person who liked the most direct, quickest path from one point to the other. I have “prided myself” on being punctual and being able to accurately predict arrival times. This type of mindset did not allow for meandering.

I didn’t start out for home with this intention, but the words, “What is the hurry?” kept coming to mind.  My plans to get coffee in Concord, stop for a bathroom break and fuel in White River Junction, were gone. I took unfamiliar roads, thought I was lost twice, and both times better routes were presented. About  noon, and not knowing exactly where I was (needing a good cup of coffee and some food), I saw a sign, “Harlow Organic Farm Stand and Cafe.” I pulled in and sat in my car for a moment in stunned silence. Nothing could have been more perfect: great food, wonderful people, and dark organic coffee.

When I was a kid, I loved roller coasters. I allowed the roller coaster with its twists and turns to take me and it was fun. The unexpected was what I wanted. I slowly, almost imperceptibly moved toward trying to control more and more of my outer life. Rigid routines and ideas crept in like a slow internal paralysis. I thought of the roller coaster ride yesterday because it dawned on me how awful it was when I was trying to direct it; sitting rigidly in the little car futilely trying to maintain my composure, and how exciting it was when I let go….let go and trusted. Today is a new day and it is going to be a good one.


“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.”  Emmanuel Teney

15 thoughts on “Going with the flow, meandering home to me”

  1. Well, as Joan Rivers once said, “When I see a jogger who is smiling, I will consider trying it.” You ARE brave, Mary. Gotta say, I’m with Joan on this one.

    I love your willingness to just let go and ‘meander.’ I have always (don’t know why) had an inordinate fear of getting lost. And yet, on the few occasions that I did, my day has always turned into a good adventure. Your post mirrored that today.

    Thanks for a timely reminder.

  2. I just loved this post! And the lovely word meander! It’s one we hardly ever hear, undoubtedly because we hardly ever allow ourselves the time to meander. The quote inspired me to start a little folder in my documents, “Quotes from White Feather Farm” – thank you Mary! I have gotten such a kick out of hearing Simon the donkey on Jon Katz’s blog, braying to a new day! Such a happy way to greet a wonderful new day. Happy weekend all!

  3. Ah, meandering. One of my favorite things to do. I used to want the straightest, most carefully laid out routes also, both in travel and life. So many serendipidous moments lost that way, such memories never created. It also helps one begin to realize on this journey that no matter what unknown may be around that bend, whether it brings surprise or joy or fear, we will be open to it and realize we will survive and grow and learn to live with openness and wonder.

  4. I don’t know how you do it, Mary, but you SO OFTEN write exactly the thing I need to read and hear. Thank you!

    Also, one question – where do you come up with the perfect quote for your blog postings? Love to know your source since I’m always amazed at how the quote ties in so well with your posting.

    Hope the heat in the East subsides for you soon. Our high temps here in central Texas (Austin) have been consistently around 100 since last month and we’re due to break more records this weekend. SO, no breaks for us – but I do hope your hot weather does not last.


    1. Dear Sue, I really appreciate your comments…thank you! I have been a “quote collector” for most of my life. I just love a good phrase, and am forever putting sticky notes in books with phrases underlined, pulling out scraps of paper if I hear something good on the radio or on a cd that I am listening to, or if someone says something particularly striking, I ask if I may quote them. I also search the internet (a great resource lately). There are many sites that have lists of good quotes but I don’t use one in particular. Hope this answers your question. I just came home from river tubing and am working on staying cool!

  5. As always, you put a smile on my face and give me something to think about.
    Meandering is good. Sometimes we get in such a rut. Hope the heat wave breaks.

  6. I love to meander! Puttering is another favorite verb of mine. Now if we could all just meander and putter our way to tomorrow and tomorrow…great post Mary!

  7. As the town that I live in is home to the oldest surviving wooden roller coaster in California, I can attest to the allegory that letting go on a coaster ride is the only way to ‘enjoy the ride’. And when the back-roads lead the way, you can’t help but notice it’s the journey not the destination.

    Barbara C-M> I recently saw bumper snicker: All are lost—why not wander?

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