Those who go first sometimes leave a map for others to follow. Like markers along the road, we come across the path others have forged. As fellow travelers, we do our part to keep the road clear and offer any insight or direction for those coming after.
In our personal Iives we leave identity markers. The things that shaped up, the spaces we created and occupied for a time—they become rest stops for others on the same journey.
I was listening to an interview with Audrey Assad, and she put into words what I’ve always felt about the aim of my own life, particularly in writing the blog:
“I see myself as someone who is building rooms for people to sit in in different spots on their journey, and every time I go through something I build a room around it, and then I walk forward and build another one, and people who come after me can use those spaces.”
The worst place to find yourself is not a different place than you were before but a lonelier place. As we grow and change we often find ourselves emotionally or spiritually homeless. I love Audrey’s picture of rooms to occupy as you move forward.
I think of cabins built by early settlers and left for the next pioneers to occupy as they ventured further into the unknown. I imagine days, weeks, months of hiking in the wilderness, family and belongings in tow, wondering what refuge your seeking will find.
I think the metaphor of creating and leaving space for others might be one of the most meaningful objectives we can set for ourselves in life. What better way to love your neighbor than to house them when they’re homeless? Keep building rooms, my friends. We will all need a place to stay at some point or another.