In the very early days of my chronicling here on the Archives, I quoted William Stafford’s poem, “The Way It Is.” It begins with the line, “There’s a thread you follow…”
That thread has been an ongoing compass point for the past five years of posting on the Archives. A guidance that even took me down the path that led to a six month posting hiatus.
This thread, some sort of magical filament, is both familiar and mysterious. Consistent and elusive. I am its dedicated follower.
For the past few weeks I’ve been reading Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” aloud to Jeb and the Bohemian.
Last night’s reading brought these words,
“‘There’s no such thing as coincidence,’ said the Englishman…’I’m here because a friend of mine heard of an Arab who…’
But the caravan began to move, and it was impossible to hear what the Englishman was saying. The boy knew what he was about to describe, though: the mysterious chain that links one thing to another, the same chain that had caused him to become a shepherd, that had caused his recurring dream, that had brought him to a city near Africa, to find a king, and to be robbed in order to meet a crystal merchant, and…
The closer one gets to realizing his Personal Legend, the more that Personal Legend becomes his true reason for being, thought the boy.”
I don’t know exactly what my Personal Legend may be, I’m still on the path to discovery. But I do know I’m wandering along with that chain, that thread. And the Archives, here, reflect the journey.
Standing where we are and looking back from where we’ve come, fresh perspective is offered on the legends of our lives.
In mid-April, we celebrated the Bohemian’s birthday by taking a family walk to a local stream and waterfall. We’d been to this spot numerous times. Once in 2012, I snapped a photo of Jeb and the Bohemian, which ended up in a frame on our kitchen wall.
Three years later, standing in the same stream-side location, Jeb suggests they stage the shot again.
Looks like the Bohemian’s hair has gotten shorter, and Jeb has gotten taller. Even distant trees reveal their years of growth.
Teetering on an old and beautiful path, their photo reminds me of that thread. The trails we traverse in living out our legends.