“I’ve got nothing to lose / can’t have my fear / I’m not getting out of here alive anyway”

After heading off for a short impromptu writing retreat, I realized I’d left my carefully google-mapped directions and the address of my hotel both behind.

So I chose a direction, and drove, hoping I’d find a wireless connection where I could do search for my destination, only I reached the town I was heading for before I did. So I chose a direction, and drove for a little while until I realized nothing looked familiar (I’d been here before, but years ago).

And I realized at this point that I could get annoyed or worried or fretful or … just let go of all that and turn around and try another direction and keep driving and trust if I just kept driving, I’d get there eventually.

So I turned around and kept going and … two things happened.

1. Within 5 minutes I found myself driving by a thrift shop with a sign right in the window saying they had free city maps. Of course I got one, delighting in what I thought was my needed bit of serendipity, only to find that …

2. The direction I was now instinctively heading in … a direction I’d almost tried from the start, before second-guessing at the last minute … was the right direction anyway, and I’d never actually needed a map in the first place. I was fine.

I drove on, and found the place I was looking for, right there in front of me without even knowing the exact address. I still don’t know the exact address, actually. But there was even a parking space waiting.

I love maps. Yet it’s good to remember every once in a while that I can do this, too: travel without them, make my way without carefully created set-in-stone guideposts, find my way … not quickly, not always gracefully, but find it. Everything doesn’t need to be in place when I set out.

Sometimes, I can just go and just do, and trust the rest will work itself out.

Also, I think there’s something amusing and delightful and, yes, serendipitous about a universe that offers me maps I don’t need. Maybe it thinks maps are cool for their own sake, too.

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