When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Map

They sit side by side with an easy familiarity on the bleachers in front of me, her knee gently brushing against his, his arm resting lightly across the small of her back. Amid a collection of travel books and brochures, they bend their heads close together to peruse a map perched eagerly over both of their laps.  Their gazes shift every now and then, from following a path traced by one of their fingers along the coloured paper landscape to catching glimpses of one another's faces, both of them lit up with warm, excited smiles.  They seem young and in love, and oblivious to anyone else around them as they plan what looks to be a wonderful adventure together.  I'm caught off-guard by how much this simple, tender scene affects me.

Young and in love.  This was you and me some twenty years ago, when we sat side by side just like this boy and girl and planned out exciting adventures of our own. Our fingers, too, traced over paper roads we wanted to travel together, and later, we sat under the stars of northern summer night skies and mapped out in words the paths we imagined our intertwined lives would follow:  careers, marriage, a home, children.  We had stars in our eyes too, then, believing that our love and our plans and our heartfelt efforts would take us exactly where we wanted to go.

We sit side by side all these years later with a familiarity that has grown still easier over time; our love has become deeply rooted and we share a quiet wisdom earned by experience.  The paths we've travelled together are traced in lines around our eyes and smiles, the marks of all the worries and beautiful joys that careers, marriage, a home, and children have brought us.  We look less to the stars to speak to us of the exciting roads that lie ahead, and delight more in the comfort of a life lived well right here and now. We've grown to realize that sometimes all the love and plans and heartfelt efforts we can muster don't lead us where we thought they would, but often the most powerful experiences and valuable lessons lie somewhere in the unexpected.

One thing hasn't changed in all the years since we first mapped out our lives together:  there is still no one with whom I'd rather travel.  And it doesn't really matter where else we go from here, because being older and in love seems a wonderful place all of its own.


  1. yes, yes, yes. I could not agree more. "the most powerful experiences and valuable lessons lie somewhere in the unexpected"

  2. What a beautiful post Lisa! Made me smile :)