O Lord my God, my Savior,
by day and night I cry to you.
Let my prayer enter into your presence;
incline your ear to my lamentation. Psalm 88:1-2
I am halfway down the block before I remember that I wasn’t going to come this way. I see the traffic ahead of me slowing to a stop. A construction crew has been working on this road for days; I had intended to avoid this particular route. But it is my usual way home and the autopilot kicked in. In a day that has presented many frustrations, this may be the last straw.
I see an option and quickly turn down a narrow side street. In this part of town, these small streets almost appear to be alleyways. But the houses proudly face into them, the constricted space cheerfully inhabited.
Have I ever been down this street I wonder? I take in my surroundings. A front stoop proudly presents wooden pillars painted a summer sky blue. Another house boasts lavender shutters. Even on this dreary afternoon, three row homes delight me with their architectural details in lintels and cornices. I am close to the home, but this way is unfamiliar. What else have I missed in my everyday surroundings? My detour becomes an exploration.
We have just passed the halfway point of Lent, a friend reminded me earlier. I am relieved, because the way has seemed difficult lately. My usual paths have been blocked, my practices thwarted, my reflective space narrowed.
It is time to refocus. Not on where I think I am supposed to be, but on where I am. The side street, the unexpected way, nevertheless leads me home, all the while offering its own beauty to be discovered.
copyright © Anne E. Kitch 2013