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Friday, January 31, 2014

The Way

Last week, while standing on a street corner in Key West, Florida,  I found eternity.

At the intersection of Whitehead and Fleming Streets in Key West  is a sign for  U.S. Highway #1 that says, "Ends" and "Mile 0," just across the street is a nearly identical sign with two exceptions - it faces the opposite direction and says, "Begins" and also "Mile 0."  According to wikipedia U.S. Highway 1 stretches along the East Coast of the U.S. for 2,369 miles between the above intersection in Key West and the Clair-Fort Kent Bridge that crosses to Canada from Fort Kent, Maine where it also begins and ends.

Just a few days later, back home in Washington, DC, I was again on U.S. Highway #1 on the 14th Street Bridge crossing the Potomac River. In my life I have been on numerous sections of Highway 1 mostly south of Baltimore in MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA and FL.  Even though I've never been on the Clair-Fort Kent Bridge or most of the northern route,  standing between those two signs in Key West reminded me that any given point on Highway 1, or any highway or path, can be experienced as both a beginning and ending.

No wonder so many of our spiritual and religious traditions are filled with imagery of paths, ways, highways, pilgrimage, and journey that represent our encounters and experiences of the Divine.  Jesus says, "I am the way..."  "...the Alpha and Omega."  The beginning and the end.   The Tao is know as "The Way."   Early Christians also used "The Way" to describe their experience.  A common contemporary moniker for religion and spirituality is "Faith Journey."

So, whatever highway or path you may be on take a moment to pause, look around and breathe in the Eternal, for  eternity is not a destination but rather the place in time and space that wherever we are, we are already there, be it Key West, Maine, or Washington DC.  

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