June 15, 2020
Pandemic Reflections #4
To Our Clients,
I recall those hours as if it was merely yesterday when they
occurred. There I am, squinting through the heavy fog, my
headlights dispersing themselves on the moist airborne droplets
surrounding my vehicle, providing little light on the road. My
concentration is devoted to spotting the reflective highway
division line as a marker I can follow until this heavy blanket of
gray could be lifted. I recall the mysterious, intriguing feelings
I had always infused fog to embody, having grown up in a rural,
arid area that seldom experienced its ethereal covering. Tonight,
the romance has totally disappeared. This foreign weather element
is now only a deterrent to my plans for a safe arrival and a fun
weekend planned with my children.
This adventure was already not what I had anticipated nor
planned for. Just an hour earlier, an unexpected road closure due
to a rock slide in this mountainous terrain had necessitated a
detour heading off the paved highway onto a gravel side road. A
flashing sign advised me to reduce my speed and indicated a
distance of twenty-five miles would be required before rejoining
the previously detoured route. I explained the conditions to the
children and reassured them that we are always accompanied by God
in our lives and in our journeys, and that the highway department
had marked a new path we could safely follow. We would simply be
faithful to the posted directions and we would, in time, arrive at
our chosen destination.
I'm not sure how many minutes had actually passed before I
slowly became conscious of a commotion wafting forward from its
back seat origin. A tired voice repeatedly called my name . . .
"Mommy," pause . . . "Mommy," pause . . . "Mommy," pause . .
. each invocation more emphatically expressed. "Mommy, how much
longer?" The little voice cracking and the tears beginning to flow.
"I'm tired!" "I want out of this seat!" "I want to be there NOW!"
The voice was more forceful and insistent. An even louder voice,
more demanding, joined the chorus, "Seriously, Mom, how much longer
can this take?" The voices united in the strength of their shared
complaint, fostering adamant statements of despair. A concluding
demand resounding in their heads and hearts, "We just want to go
"Me too, kids," my head silently resounded! But here we were in
unknown terrain, following an unfamiliar and foggy path, with no
mile markers since our turnoff to provide a plausible timetable
requirement. I had no control over the circumstances . . . more
questions than answers . . . and could only continue the slow trek,
holding the hope that persistence would, in some unrevealed time,
get us there.
The continued outpouring of weariness and frustration coming
from the back seat, eventually gave way to some jokes, a few songs,
and then welcomed relief brought through sleep. I recalled the joy
of rejoining the highway after a two and a half hour detour and the
delight in finding a gas station available for fuel to finish our
remaining forty miles. My own fatigue and frustration over what
wasn't (not there yet) transcended quickly into
gratitude for what was (fuel, and a rejoining with a
path on the map!) I remembered, as well, the pledge I made to
myself following this trip that all future excursions would be
accompanied by a travel bag stored in the vehicle containing some
food, a blanket, a flair, flat tire fixant, a strong flashlight,
and the installation of better fog lamps. What I had learned
unexpectedly along the way would be helpful on future paths
Most impactfully, I remembered that we did indeed make it to our
destination even though we had to take a completely unknown path
with some unexpected challenges along the way. A great deal more
time was required than any of us would have chosen or even
anticipated, but nevertheless we did make it!
Today, we are traveling along an unfamiliar and foggy path with
detours and road hazards along the way. Whether we are the
"drivers" or the "back seat passengers," we are attempting to
navigate as best we can with the information we have, experiencing
our individual and collective weariness and frustration along the
way. We are asking the same questions: "Are we there yet? "How much
longer will this take?"
While we await the answers, our desire at Intentional Living is
to encourage each of us to be open to the plethora of thoughts and
feelings that this season provokes within us, that we might learn
more about ourselves. We encourage each of us to vent along the
way, but also to intentionally encourage the continued development
of our patience towards all processes that take their needful time.
May we pay attention to the lessons we are learning as we reflect
over this unique historic time in our world.
Know from the depths of our souls to yours it has been good to
walk these past three months with you as we continue to find our
way. We believe the collective journey empowers us all to become
our better selves, and to better our response as a collective
community to the needs around us. May we find the strength and
courage to give ourselves more fully to that potential within us,
and between us.
. . . "How much longer until we get there?" . . .
Dana K. Taylor, Ph.D., LMFT
Kary S. Reid, Ph.D.,
Lubbock, Texas 79411