The curvy, rugged roads here in the mountains of my home can make for some very interesting travels at times. In the last few weeks, I have had my nostrils stung when the smell of a squashed skunk got sucked through the open windows of my car. I have screeched to a stop to let a group of whitetail deer cross the road. I have swerved to miss a wandering dog who was paying more attention to his nose than his eyes. I have run over an already dead opossum who didn’t quite make it across the road during a midnight stroll. I have played more than a few games of miss the tire-punching potholes that seem to be everywhere. And I have spent way too many minutes inhaling exhaust fumes, waiting in line while repair crews replaced those potholes with little patches of pavement.
I have also, however, happily watched the bare trees fill up with light green leaves as Spring arrived. I have observed the gravely roadsides grow golden with a million blooming dandelions as the Earth itself seemed to come back to life again. I have seen the schoolyard playgrounds fill with children and heard their joyous laughter as the warm, May sunshine arrived. I have seen people having yard sales, taking walks, and sharing smiles with their neighbors after a long Winter shut up in their homes.
Life, too, is full of interesting travels that can be both difficult and joyous. Life is certainly full of potholes, pains, troubles, and strife. Yet, it is also full of giving, growth, learning, and love. Perhaps the secret is to enjoy the ride, to thank God for it, and to use it all to become better, stronger, and happier. Perhaps the secret is to give a loving lift to others along the way.
Perhaps the secret is to know that our interesting travels will one day lead us home again to a place where the light is always on and loving arms await us.
Joseph J. Mazzella lives in Upper Glade.