Eleven Miles from Somewhere…again….
“Yesterday morning, on my drive home from the store where I had just purchased the week’s food and other household supplies, I was looking at the neighborhoods I passed and at the smoke and steam coming from roof-top chimneys and vent pipes. I also caught sight, through and beyond the clouds, of parts and pieces of the white and enormous mountains that line our eastern horizon. It was and is still amazing and weird and wonderful to find myself in this place in the middle hours of this last day of the year, in a place so new and strange and removed from where I was last year. As I drove those snow-lined streets back to our neighborhood proper, I happened to notice a mile-marker sign that was posted along the road. It said “Mile 11.” Now, I am familiar with state highways and roads that leave their freeway confines and become or pass along the same route as a city street, like US Highway 60 in Arizona that becomes or passes-along on Grand Avenue, bisecting the Valley of the Sun to take travelers on their way to Wickenburg or beyond, and I know of US Highway 89 that takes us from Flagstaff to Page, and to Kanab and Panguitch, and then marks a parallel course to I-15 as it leads north to Provo and Salt Lake, eventually becoming State Street that runs the central length of our city, but I was not familiar with any such state route or US highway that had turned into 700 East as it made its course through the city.
Seeing the sign made me wonder about the eleven miles that had passed on the other side of that mile marker and how many other miles existed in the opposite and other direction, whatever and whichever way that actually was. It struck me as odd, too, and maybe allegorical even, in the processing of what yesterday was and what today is in the marking of time in a year and this present time or era or segment of my life and my family’s lives in this time of crazy and dramatic change. We’ve come to this station and place in our lives, taken such drastic steps to find ourselves in a new state and locale, and work and living and natural environment and our heads and hearts and sometimes emotions are spinning and wondering and looking for something familiar to grasp and hold-on to as we attempt to regain our balance and direction. And here we are then, eleven miles from somewhere, remembering and thinking about the past and wondering about the future, holding-on to each other, leaning against one another in our little relocated family, awaiting the arrival of others and missing those who won’t or cannot join us…and our friends, of course, we remember and miss them too, those precious ones who, even from outside the circle of our family and intimates, loved us and brought us joy and companionship for the past twenty years and more.
So it’s not only us, but you, too, who on this first day of a new year are eleven miles from somewhere. Where are you going, what are you doing, how are you, and we, too, going to measure this year when it’s gone, like we’ve done to the one that is just passed and passing?”
***This is a Favorite Re-post from January 1, 2011.
Very beautiful Scott – and I, like many others here perhaps, had not read this before. You know I can relate, too – as I have leaned on my partner and he on me, and miss so keenly the people still back east – particularly my son..but I talked to him today…so we’re 11 miles from somewhere, feeling our way home…
January 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm
So, did you find the 13 mile marker this year? 😀
January 1, 2014 at 1:59 pm
We are always eleven miles from somewhere, Scott. That’s the beauty of life. We really don’t know what “somewhere” is around the next turn. We forge on with anticipation and a little trepidation, but we forge on. And that’s where we are. 🙂 A thoughtful post from my favorite thoughtful guy. Thanks.
January 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm
It’s all a part of the journey, and each of us has his or her own path to travel, to experience, to digest, and–hopefully–to share with those about whom we care. I am very much looking forward to continuing to share ours in this fledgeling New Year.
January 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm
Eleven miles…..that sits well with me too. Where we used to live it was eleven miles to the next town where my parents lived, and here in Scotland it’s still eleven miles to the next small town…….and it represents that extra mile that we often have to go……
Eleven miles to somewhere that is familiar, but also another eleven to go where we’ve never been before and to meet those we’ve never met before…..it’s somehow a poetic narrative……that is life’s journey.
A well trodden path in 2014, perhaps…….safe and sure…..but also some new less trodden paths….for the adventure…….my wish for you and yours, Scott.
January 4, 2014 at 4:41 pm
Eleven miles from somewhere, eleven minutes or years from sometime — and as I’ve been told, “Wherever you go, there you are”. Beautifully written, thank you for sharing the words that form around your ideas.
March 19, 2014 at 11:25 am