Notes from the Faith Journey: Susan Holloway

A few weeks ago Henry and I took a drive to see the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn which they were referring to as “The Christmas Star.” Understanding that it would be visible in the southwest portion of the sky, we had decided to drive west on 410 and turn south on Fredericksburg. We had arrived at the Fredericksburg exit but had not seen any sign of the planets. It was evening and an area I do not know well and I took the Fredericksburg exit but failed to get far enough right and we found ourselves back on 410. I took the next exit which was Babcock and suddenly as we topped a rise we saw what we were searching for very clearly. We drove south on Babcock seeing that sight for some blocks before the clouds suddenly blocked out our view. We were very excited to have seen the beautiful sight.

Later it occurred to me that often a wrong turn actually brings us to a truly exciting spot. Some years ago Henry and I were driving through England with our children. Several times we headed out for a particular destination only to run into gridlock. We learned to simply turn right if we could not turn left, often ending up at an even more exciting destination. I remember a spontaneous picnic on the grounds of Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s home which we had not planned to visit. We had a memorable picnic where a deer tried to steal my chocolate cake. It is still a favorite family story which would not have happened had we not taken a detour from our planned route.

Perhaps, if we remain flexible and open to different possibilities, then, even a wrong turn can bring us joy. At least we may see something new, something unexpected, or we might find exactly what we were looking for but in an unexpected place.

Susan Holloway

The right way to wholeness is made up of fateful detours and wrong turnings.

Carl Jung

Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they will turn out.

Randall Munro