Captain’s Log – Star Date: 12006.12

The following begins a new twist to Posts From Along The Road as I am fully engaging my nerdness and connection with Star Trek to share with you what’s going on in my universe. I have embraced my fondness for Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, Picard, Data, and all the other members of Starfleet and feel it’s only logical to log my experiences as the captain of the USS Terra should. I would imagine Mr. Spock approves of this enterprise.

So, with that in mind, let’s begin to boldly go….

For the past couple of weeks, each day has brought many thoughts and emotions to me. With the virus seeming to spike up again across the country (and world), with the economic impacts so many are living with right now due to the virus and the decisions made by our leaders, and with the civil protests continuing to try and bring equality and harmony to all our communities, I’m sensing a change is coming to our world. Yes in the world as a whole but more specifically in our local more personal worlds too. What that change or changes will actually be I do not know but it sure feels like some major shift is happening.

Change is always difficult and usually confusing. It’s a bit of a paradox. On one hand I can see changes are needed in our society, in our government, in our faith communities, and in my life. But on the other hand I feel how hard those changes are going to be for many of us, including myself. To understand, accept, and adapt to those changes will not be easy but not impossible. I’ve never feared change. Especially when it was for the betterment of our society. But not all change is good and it’s attempting to discern the good from the bad that causes me some anxiety and frustration. Perhaps you feel the same.

Our world, the Earth, is round (sorry flat worlders). It spins thankfully in a steady controlled fashion and we are able to hold on each day and not fly off into space. Every 24 hours we come back to where we started the day before. 365 days each year this holds true. But our personal worlds seem different. Each day we may wake to find it the same as the day before but often it’s changed. While we were sleeping something happened that now makes our personal world, our lives, different. We question if we can hold on and what the future holds for us personally.

In my 60 years of living, change seems to come in cycles. Repeating cycles. Not always orderly spaced out like on a schedule but still occurring over and over again. It seems to me that like the Earth, our lives are round and repeating. We experience seasons. Times of growth and decay. Times of plenty and hardship. Times of health and illness. There sure seems to be a circle to it all and we are traveling around that circle. We can’t get off even if we try.

The crew of the USS Enterprise, when they began their three year mission, had no idea what was waiting for them out there. Okay the actors in the show had a script so yes they knew but the characters they were portraying did not. The captain and crew knew nothing of what might happen the next episode but still they continued their journey with the hope that what lied before them, no matter what it would be, was something they could face and learn from. They would make it through and be changed, hopefully for the good, by what they encountered.

So whatever changes are coming for me and in my world, I think it’s only logical to do all I can to understand why those changes are happening. To discern if they are for the good of the world and the people around me. Perhaps they are or perhaps some may not be but I feel it is my duty to try to understand what’s happening and why. And then to boldly make those needed changes within myself to take one step closer to a world that is better for all of us. I think that is the prime directive we are all called to live by.

Have a fantastic Friday! See you down the road….

Waiting For The Fog To Clear

‘As I stand atop this cliff

I look out to the sea

And as I gaze I wonder

Will this fog ever lift

So the ocean I will see.

All around me is a mist

With shapes like shadows hide

But now the dawn does break

The things that were uncertain

Now revealed by the light.’

A few years ago, our family took a trip to the California coast to move our youngest, our son, to his first year of college at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. For my wife and I it was a trip of mixed emotions saying goodbye to our son while enjoying the beauty of the area. As parents, we were very proud of him for having the courage to move so far from home but we knew we would miss him greatly. We had confidence that he would do well but we also felt some fear from thinking about the trials he most likely would encounter. On his own, away from home. Away from us.

After spending a couple days in SLO with him, my wife and I, along with his two older sisters, gave our goodbye hugs and kisses and started our journey up the coast back to San Francisco. Driving Highway 1 north we saw the most spectacular scenery. I honestly can’t remember how many times we pulled off the road to just stand and gaze from the cliffs to the sea. It was breathtaking how the light cascaded down the cliffs to dance upon the waters. It was spectacular.

One morning back in San Francisco there was a very heavy fog over the bay. From the hilltop near our hotel, I could see the early sun glistening of the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge. But about a third of the way down the steel beams disappeared and further down the road was completely hidden by the fog. It was a very surreal sight. In the same instant there was the clarity of the light and the uncertainty of the unseen. That vision and feeling comes back to me every time I think about our trip.

Fog. We’ve all seen it. Been in it. Felt it on our skin. We’ve breathed in the damp coolness. In a way it’s refreshing. There’s a stillness to it as well. Sort of peaceful although somewhat uncomfortable or unnerving. You know there are things hidden beyond what your eye can perceive. You know they are there because you’ve seen them before but now, in this moment, they’re cloaked by a mist. And you may question if they truly do exist. You wait for the fog to lift. For the world around you to be as it was before.

An earthly cloud is just one type of fog I’ve experienced in my life. There have been times, more than I wished, when I lived in a fog. Uncertain of where I was and what was going on around me. I couldn’t see beyond the next step and sometimes even that wasn’t very clear. I felt lost and alone with no certainty of what I would see next. Afraid to move forward. I wondered if the fog would ever clear.

And then it did. Slowly shapes became sharper and I could see what was ahead of me. What was around me. The light began to burn away the curtain my world had been wrapped in. Soon the uncertainty that surrounded me was vanishing. Disappearing into the sky. The fog I was living in had lifted and I was again living in the light.

I’ve come to understand that in those times of being in a fog, there really is very little I can do to make it go away. I’ve learned two things though that I can do. One, is to be faithful in the knowledge that this current fog, no matter how thick it may seem, will also eventually lift. And two, be brave enough to wait in the midst of it until I can take that next step. Not easy things to do but things I still need to do.

Over the past month living in the Terra, there have been many mornings where there was a fog in or around the campsite. The Doodle and I would venture out into it and take in all that our senses could manage. We would walk through it just a few steps at a time and stand to look around. Surprisingly we often saw, heard, or felt something we probably would have missed had the fog not been there. A hidden experience the fog revealed. Unexpected. Thankful.

Both clear and foggy days lie ahead for all of us in this life. And when the fog comes again I know I will be okay. It will lift and the light will make things clear. It always has and always will if I am brave and have faith.

See you down the road my friends….