on wednesday evening, i flew to san diego with three co-workers for a conference. the mid-week change of scenery and schedule was good for my soul. also, i think my colleagues are pretty rad. we had a good time learning about exciting ways to use our online student information system, exploring the gaslamp quarter of the city, and doing work while watching the olympics in a hotel room. i quite like business travel.
i stayed in san diego an extra day, so after the conference was over on friday afternoon, i strolled solo along the waterfront and then through little italy. i practiced aloneness without lonliness.
i sat on a bench overlooking san diego bay at sunset, sipped coconut steamed milk and worked on finishing my book, the horse and his boy (i am working on an item on my bucket list – reading all the chronicles of narnia). i read the most beautiful chapter, where the lion aslan makes his first appearance in this, the third book of the series.
the boy shasta has found himself alone in a dark and unfamiliar place, riding an aimless horse through dripping trees and icy winds, a heavy heart pushing tears down his cheeks, not knowing at all where the road he is moving along is leading. he notices sounds that indicate that some creature is walking beside him in the dark, but his fear of this unknown fellow traveler is dispelled as their conversation begins. the creature tells shasta that he is the lion that has intercepted his journey in several previous scenarios, and helps the boy to understand that those interceptions seemed hostile but were in fact in shasta’s best interest – for example, the lion chased shasta and his friends to give them “strength of fear” to get some place just in time to give a crucial warning to many in danger. the lion walks with shasta through the dark and cold until it is morning, and it is from this great, golden beast that the light of day is generated.
i believe that i always have a fellow traveler along dark, dripping roads with very uncertain destinations. and i’m figuring out more and more how my journey leading to and from those roads has been intercepted in ways that have seemed terrible but actually are pushing me through experiences that miraculously precipitate eventual glory.