Walk This Way

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Ok you guys. I wrote a book. It’s about navigating life’s detours and left turns. And, as life would have it, as I trekked and traversed to Half Moon Bay to take a photo for the cover, this book’s theme literally kicked me in the pants.

After attending Children’s Mass, I packed the kids in the car headed West. I’d planned on dining at Macaroni Grill along the way. There was no traffic on this Sunday Morning, so we sailed across the bridge and arrived prior to the restaurant’s opening. So we scooted into Barnes & Noble and enjoyed the sparkle of new books, before eating. Our meals were lovely, and I shared with the kids how in the restrooms a recording Italian lessons would play. There would be easy enough words to repeat, then a short simple phrase using said words. And then the last sentence would be so lengthy there was no way a beginner could say it. They delighted in my feigned example. Alas, we were sorry the tutorials did not play that day. We enjoyed our meal nonetheless, and continued on our journey: our pilgrimage to the labyrinth.

As soon as I saw the flashing digital sign “Expect Delays” I had to slam on my brakes. The twelve miles of two lane highway winding through the hills would be stop and go traffic. I considered turning back. But I didn’t know when I would next have the chance to trek to the Bay on a sunny day. The children are such troopers, they delighted in chewing gum (a rate treat) and playing their own games that they had invented. I’d wanted to be approaching home by two o’clock, alas, we’d be lucky if we reached our destination by then. And then we would have more pumpkin patch traffic on the way back.

We made it out of the traffic maze, and I saw the ocean. In fact, I marveled at how one of my favorite TV shows may have filmed there. Just being near the ocean was delightful. We always talk about how on the other side of the ocean is Guam, Nana’s beloved island.

Thankfully my dear son the geography expert is a natural navigator, and he boldly led us through the chaos and confusion that is google directions versus Apple’s “Siri”. At just about two o’ clock, I park in the lot and we start our 5 minute hike to the labyrinth at Pillar Point. Which is supposed to look like this, by the way.

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It actuality it looks like this.

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I first saw the smattering of rocks and almost walked past them. I thought we hadn’t been walking for five minutes yet. Then I literally stopped in my tracks. This was it. It was much smaller than I thought, and half of it had been washed away by the ocean.

I smiled as my children came to recognition, as well. “What!?” My matter-of-fact son actually smiled. “Well, this is really disappointing.” “I want to be in the picture!” exclaimed my daughter, gleefully. I had to giggle. Thankfully we all have the temperament that allows us to laugh at such situations. I asked my son to take a photo of Mommy. We laughed all the way back to the car, enjoying the sweet ocean breeze. It was time for pumpkin patch traffic again. Look! There’s even a corn maze! As if we need another layer of crazy mazes.

We’d listened to a cd mix I’d made for my daughter on the way over, so now it was my son’s turn. The first couple of songs were by Men at Work, then re was “The Gap” by Thompson Twins (another 80’s band, ahem). But I didn’t pick up on the cd theme until I heard the Missing Persons singing “Destination Unknown”:

Life is so strange when you don’t know
How can you tell where you’re going to
You can’t be sure of any situation
Something could change and then you won’t know

You know what? I think we are all missing persons in this labyrinth of life.

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Denise Dwyer D’Errico is the author of A Maze in Grace, soon to be released.

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