Once my husband and our two young children were traveling cross country—five thousand miles in three weeks in a Ford Escort. We saw the Smithsonian, Monticello, Zondervan Publishing House and other things I’ll never forget.
Another unforgettable experience happened when we drove into the Chicago area, where my aunt lived. With all the traffic and confusing signs, we missed an important turn, and ended up in an area with very few pay phones (this was before I got a cell phone.) We searched and searched until we found a working one outside a grimy convenience store.
“Hi, Aunt Juanice,” I said. “We’re kinda lost and were hoping you could give us some directions.”
“Where are you, honey?”
I squinted. It was getting dark and I couldn’t see any street signs. I mentioned that there weren’t many street lights. As best I could, I described the neighborhood and gave her the name of the convenience store, which I assumed was named after the street it was on.
“Honey, get in your car and drive,” my aunt said urgently.
“It doesn’t matter. Just drive and call me when you get to a safe neighborhood.”
I have often thought of that incident and how it so perfectly illustrates one of my favorite proverbs, one from Turkey.
“No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn back.”
For those of us who feel our writing is getting out of its vehicle and facing something dark and unwelcoming, we are looking to other neighborhoods, places where people will dialogue more than threaten. Perhaps the answer lies in. . .
(photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)