This month for our Leadership Council meeting a poem titled The Path by Lynn Ungar was read. It is one of my favorites. The poem speaks to the journey of life, and how we need to look behind us, on the path we have already walked, to keep pushing forward and creating our own personal path forward. I am so grateful for the journey I have been on in the Marianist Family and for the companions I have gained along the way that help to guide me forward.
For this month’s opening reflection, I just want to leave you all with a few questions to ponder after you read the poem below:
- If “There is no road ahead. There is only walking.” is true, what keeps you motivated in your Marianist journey to keep walking the path you set out for yourself?
- How can you find and hold close to the the roads that smooth out and slope towards home in faith and in life?
- What songs are you singing to your Marianist companions to help them along in the journey?
Life, the saying goes, is a journey,
and who could argue with that?
We’ve all experienced the surprising turns,
the nearly-impassible swamp, the meadow
of flowers that turned out not to be quite
so blissful and benign as we first thought,
the crest of the hill where the road
smoothed out and sloped toward home.
Our job, we say, is to remain faithful
to the path before us. Which is an assumption
as common as it is absurd.
Really? Look ahead. What do you see?
If there is a path marked out in front of you
it was almost certainly laid down for someone else.
The path only unfolds behind us,
our steps themselves laying down the road.
You can look back and see the sign posts—
the ones you followed and the ones you missed—
but there are no markers for what lies ahead.
You can tell the story of how
you forded the stream or got lost
on the short cut that wasn’t,
how you trekked your way to courage or a heart,
but all of that comes after the fact.
There is no road ahead.
There is only the walking,
the tales we weave of our adventures,
and the songs we sing
to call our companions on.