“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes.” — Marcel Proust
The Lewis and Clark expedition took 22 months to travel west to the Pacific and four months to get back home. Jordan and I, in our own way, duplicated this pattern. We drove from Rapid City, South Dakota to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in two days.
Twelve hour driving days lead to a breakdown of body and mind. I began to feel vibrations even after being out of the car for a few hours. My brain could not function beyond knowing when I needed to eat, use the rest room, and following road signs. Jordan did most of the driving and for that, I was grateful. I never feel youth has an edge on this 51-year-old, until I am asked to do anything for a prolonged period of time—stand, sit, drive, etc. Then, my body seems to lack the necessary lubricant to work. (I bet Sting and Trudy aren’t having eight hour sex sessions anymore, now that they are older than 40).
Time may have aggravated my joints, but it was an important catalyst for the sincere and honest discussions between Jordan and myself. We discussed parenting, our own parents, and shaping the necessary dynamics of these relationships as adults. Dysfunction exists within every family. The job, as we reach adulthood, is to determine if the relationships we were born into are the same relationships we must have as we try to shape ourselves into healthy adults. I, after many years of introspection and excellent work with a therapist, have been able to clearly define the relationships, or lack thereof, with my family members. This is hard and trying work, but in the end one hopes the sphere we create is healthier, not only for ourselves, but for our own children.
As I listened to Jordan share his worries about the future and his memories of the past, I see him completing the work that will make him the adult every parent hopes for and he will get there long before I did. One of the most difficult stages of becoming a healthy adult is learning which relationships to nurture and which ones to prune to allow healthier ones to grow. I often had trouble determining the weeds from the flowers…not Jordan. He enters this stage with clarity, strength, and an honest heart and will be stronger and more focused in his later twenties then I ever dreamed of being.
These thousands of miles have allowed us to see new landscapes, accomplish bucket list goals, renew and restore our relationship with each other, and begin realigning our relationships and goals for the future. And, I realize the reason we were rather nonplussed about seeing Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore (and the other numerous sites) is because what we discovered within us and between us was larger than the granite before us.