I returned from traveling to the Wisconsin Dells, yet again. I had been taking this trip weekly since January (2016). My health had been deteriorating for years and I was coming upon a state of desperation that was akin to feeling like the air was leaving the room I was in and I was unable to locate a window or door that would give me reprieve, allow me to find a way out. This had been going on for too long. At times I would lose hope, then rebound bringing forward a resilience to continue the search for healing. I longed to get my life back. I had lost so much. Not just my physical abilities, but my mental capacity and ability to remain optimistic. Darkness would overtake me in ways that I was unsure I would make it out of.
Two days of treatments had left me exhausted. It usually did. I knew I would bounce back and within a few days would feel better so having committed to attend a concert that weekend was not concerning.
We joined our friends at a small music venue to see one of our newly discovered and quickly adopted favorite bands, Lucius. It was a brisk night as we walked to the show, the warmth from the building welcoming you as you entered the building. It wasn’t terribly crowded when we arrived which gave us the opportunity to find a spot midway through the crowd, a little toward stage right. We had a great view as the band stepped into the spotlight. The anticipation led to waves of cheers and excitement when the first notes were played. We listened, sang the songs that we had rehearsed and learned the words to and enjoyed the company of the group we were with.
At some point during the evening I felt a quick moment of doubt come over me. Would this be all that I would be for the rest of my life? Would I ever make it to the other side? As quickly as the thoughts came they drifted away. I worked to shake off the remnants when the band hit the notes of a song that beckoned my interest. “Dusty Trails.” The kind of song where I could name that tune in three notes.
The mere recollection of this song in my mind brings chills. So poignant, raw and honest. In the moment the lyrics came over the crowd and hit me tears stung the corner of my eyes. And then, I had the moment.
Watching the women harmonize on the stage and move through the chorus my eyes fixed on them. I took in every word like the air I was breathing. Then, their eyes fixed on me. I glanced left, then right, oh my god, they are both looking right at me! The words that left them floated over the crowd and landed in me, like a knife that cut straight to my soul, beckoning me to a choice.
Holy shit. I scanned the audience to see whom they might be addressing. It certainly couldn’t be me. I glanced back to the stage and their eyes were still fixed on me, setting sights straight on my soul. They were singing to me. How could they have known?
The song lays out a choice. The description of the dusty trail, the challenges of life that ultimately can lead to a golden road. However, as we navigate through life we can become distraught and frustrated turning away from the journey. We recoil and again hide in the walls that we have surrounded ourselves with, not knowing that we are almost to the gold. Perhaps quitting when we are just three feet away. Our other option is to continue on, to remain steadfast in our courage knowing that we are almost there.
Could they sense the despair, see that I was on the verge of giving up on all that I had been doing to heal my body? Could they read my mind and know what I had been thinking? The music answering the questions that had been stirring in my mind. Was it worth it, all that I was doing, would it lead to the life I was longing for?
What I know and believe is that the moment they began that song and those lyrics started flowing they were looking for me. In a way that only the universe can do, I received a message of hope. A call to greatness. In that moment I had a choice to make. They didn’t mandate it to me, there was no document of commitment laid in front of me. It was simply a choice to be made. Would I return to where I started, or would I embark on the journey that was only halfway complete? Would I see it through?
This choice is one that faces us all. The journey through this life is not for the faint of heart. Those who chose to return, I applaud their choice. That too, takes commitment. Those of us, however, who choose to continue forward, to embrace the unknown in a journey to find that golden road, we are the truth seekers, the love avengers and spirited women who go for it without apology. It is time, love, your time. So here I stand before you, locked in view, eyes holding one another. I see you and set before you the same call.
The choice, love, is yours. Which do you choose?
P.S. Click this link to listen to my favorite rendition of the song Dusty Trails by Lucious.