“The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive.“
- Bill Watterson (The creator of Calvin and Hobbes)
It was 9:15 and the smell of Stella Artois’ morning brew-mash was coating the entirety of the medieval city in the scent of bread and malt cereal.
We hadn’t set out with a destination in mind other than Sarah’s recommendation to place it on the other side of Leuven’s Klein Begijnhof. — A small historical architectural complex which was created to house lay religious women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world.
As we came to the end of the passageway of the disorienting half-tunnel of brick that seamlessly connected walls and road, we noticed a statue peaking though the trees we hadn’t noticed before.
With a shrug and a look that said “I mean, it’s as good-a-direction as any.” We decided to make our way towards it — quickly realizing that it was much larger, much higher up, and much farther away than we’d expected.
Over thirty sweat-filled minutes later, we emerged though a tunnel that opened into the courtyard of what a sign explained was Keizersberg Abbey. The statue, Mary and the Christ-child eternally overlooking and blessing the city’s skyline.
The memory of that moment comes to mind this morning — sitting on a nearby well, catching our breath, and admiring the view. I remember realizing there was no way in knowing that this moment was waiting for us on the other side of the uphill hike we were questioning the point of, just minuets before.
Looking back on life, it’s easy to remember the pay-offs. The city-skylines, views of cathedrals blanketed in morning’s mist. It’s easy to forget the uncomfortable path that lead us there.
How often, memories of blisters are forgotten when covered with the band-aid of nostalgia.
So, in the midst of the sweaty confusion, pain, and frustration that seems to be obstructing the road we’ve all been walking together far this year, before time has the opportunity to make sense of our currently open wounds…
May your eye catch a glimmer of that which compels you to continue forward with the hope that, one day, you’ll be able to look back and discover where you were always headed. (A Benediction for The Order Of Curious Persons)