One thing that road trips allow is flowing from one community to another. The other passengers waiting for your plane can become a community, offering helpful tips and a map for your arrival in Seattle. Your seat mate can allow you a glimpse into the Boeing community, as he descibes the process of testing and refurbishing the new 787. Glancing at your map, he adds another destination point (check out Issaquah Falls) after hearing you're a part of the waterfall-loving community.
Driving into Moses Lake, our stopping point between Seattle and Flathead Lake, MT, I smile as I notice the signs posted supporting a local contestant on the popular show, "So You think You Can Dance." Although I haven't watched much this season, I am still a fan and easily connect with those wishing Caitlyn good luck while seeking to get out the vote!
The next day, with some time to kill, we head into Spokane. As Dale Chihuly afficionados (see previous post here) we are in search of some pieces on display at the Jundt Art Center of Gonzaga University. Chihuly works in glass and I love his exuberance, creativity, and collaborative style. I find myself smiling at the whimsy, the color, the fun I sense is part of each piece! After checking out the exhibit, Dan and I take a few minutes to walk the Centennial Trail, joining the jogging/biking/walking community of downtown Spokane enjoying the riverside path that loops through downtown. There's a playful glass and metal art sculpture anchored in a manicured lawn that borders the river. And a sobering monument to a husband who died climbing a peak in the Himalayas.
How many communities do I belong to? How many can I enter? Each has its centering pull, some anchored in geography, others in shared interests. Some are familiar, others entice me with invitations to grow in new ways. I start to think now about what happens when I return home - and feel a fresh commitment to broadening my circles. There are, after all, surprises around uncharted bends, plenty of things to learn, and new traveling companions to discover.