Signpost of TimeIs it Road 52-C in rural Iowa covered in rust-red powdery earth that billows from beneath a dented fender on farmer Abel’s truck as he drives to his corn fields?

Or a snowbound road in Bismarck, North Dakota—closed! January had waited, impatiently, for the first Canadian cold front of the season to take shape. When it did, She blew hard southward; satisfied.

Some roads are soothing, like the steady flowing motion of the Volga River where on-shore Russian hawkers, male, display their wares. Wooden stall after stall and the word nyet (Нет) hovering above the din.

There was a narrow dirt road we parked alongside so long ago. It was there my English grandmother, dressed all in black, her starched white apron blowing in the wind, waited to embrace my childhood.  

The learning-a-lesson road can be immediate or painfully long; velvety smooth or rough with jagged peril.

Maybe there’s a favorite road you drive down: the first time by accident. The second time; intentional. Something draws you even if you can’t identify it.

The Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz was wrought with flying monkeys; the Horse of a Different Color; a Wizard; Scarecrow; Tin Man; Lion, and Dorothy’s Ruby Red Slippers. Lest we forget: the Good and Wicked Witches and the Munchkins. Dorothy’s Toll Road taught her it wasn’t her ruby slippers that held the power of place. It was her intent to be there that always led directly home.

Our roads were set in motion by those who came before us. The path they honed imprinted our destiny; not predestined it. The power of place, like Dorothy discovered, is within our reach. It all depends on the roads we choose!

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