Yesterday driving thought Eastern Mississippi on the way home, we came to a T intersection where you go right or left. We've been at this intersection many times, but I remember the first time we were here.
We'd taken an unfamiliar road. As we sat at the intersection, I looked left and right searching for clues that would tell me which way to go. A road sign that said take a left to go to Rick and Jilda's house would have been encouraging. But there were no signs. It's a lonely place, so we sat there debating. The road atlas was in the trunk, and I could have put the car in park, flipped the trunk lid and fetched the map, but as a man, that's almost like cheating. Jilda suggested we go to the right, so I took a left.
A few miles down the road, we came to a beautiful old Methodist Church in Giger, Alabama. From the parking lot of that church, I could have thrown a rock to Mississippi. Stepping out of the car, I snapped some pictures.
The church felt like a sacred place. Standing in front, I could hear a crow cawing off in the distance. Even thought the church was on a state highway, I couldn't hear the sound of whining tires on asphalt from either direction.
I fetched the atlas from the trunk, and as I took pictures, Jilda sat on the hood trying to figure out where we were, and which way to go to get home.
"We should have gone the other way." "Hmmm." I said, "Why didn't you say so." She was not amused.
A few hours we pulled into our driveway. The thing about taking the wrong turn is that it's rarely terminal. Most of the time you go in the wrong direction for a while, but at some point you realize it, do a course correction, and find your way home. My philosophy is, "We're on a sphere. We could keep driving in the same direction, and one day we'd wind up back to where we are."
The thing about taking a wrong turn is that you can always turn around and backtrack. But sometimes you see things you would never have seen.