Cogitation 2, 2020 Saturday 11 January Featured image: Sunrise. We made several trips to the City of Elkhart this week for some appointments and a few errands. It’s where we lived for more than 45 years. Elkhart is only 12 miles from our new home in Goshen, though it seems like many more. We’re happy where we are, even though we’re still “settling in.”
The quest to find home in a new community means transitioning to a new familiar, establishing new routines, welcoming the new/old of daily life. Also, remembering old connections.
During one day in Elkhart we had lunch at Cappy’s Northside Bar, followed by picking up groceries at our old “go-to” Martin’s Super Market.
Cappy’s has been around forever, little changed inside or outside. The food is really good, the service friendly, the ambiance cozy. All I need.
Martin’s moved into the former Cooks Department Store and was the regional grocer’s largest store. it will close in mid-February, and reopen in October in a new building a stone’s throw from the old. It’s part of a major revitalization in that part of the city, a half mile from our former home.
This week I read Walking Home, by Lynda L. Wilson (Stone Boat Press, 2015, Second Edition 2017). Wilson tells the story of how she and her husband, Doug, were the first to walk the then yet to be finished 127-kilometer (79 miles) Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail in Ontario, Canada.
Wilson weaves more into her narrative than a step-by-step recounting of their week-long walk, though that in itself leaves one laughing, wondering, wincing, pulling, applauding. Will they be able to finish the trek given the hurdles of inexperience, health, summer heat, bridge-out detours, and lingering efforts by some landowners to block the trail’s development?
Chapter One, first paragraph, sets the stage: “No one suddenly decides to embark on a one-hundred and twenty-seven kilometre walk without a very good reason. For my husband, I suspect it was a way to prove to himself that, after open heart surgery and a lifetime of struggling with illness, he could do something so challenging. For me, it was my quest to find home, or at the very least to find what home really meant to me.”
Bravo! Right up front we get an indication of the physical testing and soul-searching that will accompany the walk. It’s a physical challenge for both, as well as an opportunity to wrestle with inner demons. For Lynda, the interior search will be for answers to life’s riddles, specifically, unfinished birth-family business. Through facing their individual challenges, one sees the couple not only crossing the finish line, but gaining a new self understanding and through it all merging into a new level of love.
Walking Home has a lot to do with looking back, looking forward, remembering the good, while wrestling with what’s unfinished, broken, puzzling, and then letting it go. Bygones are put to rest. Of course, it has everything to do with continuing to be at home on the trail, in the middle of Creation, mindful of the holy, the place in which wonder and relationship flourish, where the present unfolds like a wish come true. Home at last.
A walk in Goshen this week