Familiar Paths

This is my spot. I come here when I need to write or think, or if I just want a good drive. It’s a nice park, but nothing special. Neither urban nor rural, quiet nor bustling. I wouldn’t have picked it for my spot, but it seems I had no choice. You see, I became a writer here.

I first stumbled into this park five years ago (nearly to the day, as I realized on the way here tonight). It was an evening much like this one, the cooling breeze of the bright, early fall playing with my hair. I came here frustrated with a creative writing assignment that just wasn’t flowing. Somehow I found the inspiration I needed, and I walked out with a rough draft of the piece that would be a creative turning point for me. It’s still, I think, the best thing I’ve ever written. I’d found my sweet spot.

The thoughts which bring me here tonight are similar to those I wrote down five years ago, and I’ve come for a reminder. This place has a rich history: it’s the site of the oldest European settlement in Kentucky, and now its part of my story, too. “The roots of the present lie deep in the past,” reads a plaque to my left. Roots. I’ve forgotten how it feels to be rooted lately. Somehow in the busy rush of the New, I’ve forgotten I love the Old—the consistent rhythms, the living traditions that remind me I’m not on my own. The deep things, the sacred things I share with so many who’ve come before and alongside me.

I want to live a rooted life. I don’t want to be irrelevant or archaic, but shame on me if I ever surrender to the tyranny of the present.

The world is far from simple, and the maze of questions, longings, hopes, and fears makes it easy to get lost. When that happens, I find myself looking back, keeping to the old roads. There may be times to forge new paths, and each generation to some extent has to find its own way. But I suspect, friends, that even though we are new travelers, someday we will look down and realize the path we tread is well-worn—that our feet are not the first here, and the road leads home.


  1. Kelcie - September 18, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    Beautifully thought and beautifully written. It made me cry a little and reminded me that a vast old world exists outside the frenetic scurrying of my student activity this week.

  2. Lisa - September 19, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    And this dearest, is why in a world filled with new places and wonderful experiences even the most adventurous of us choose to remain where the roots go deep. We make opportunities to forge new paths whenever we can then return.
    Side note; you have managed to saturate your writing with the same peace that you abide in. I love it.

  3. bex - September 19, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    You’ve got me teary-eyed here. And very thankful you found your “sweet spot” in that place. You’re a damn good writer, and if it’s because of that park, I’ll be paying it a visit in the near future to say thank-you.

    Lisa is right about saturating your writing with the peace that is over you. I think your whole family has a special gift to do this. Whatever you do is saturated in peace…all of you. Thank God it overflows, because I really need it sometimes and, for me, it doesn’t come so easily.

  4. bex - September 19, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    All that to say, you’re amazing.

Comments? Questions? Spirited critiques? Let's hear 'em.