I bought an atlas yesterday. It was a spontaneous purchase at the local U-Haul where my husband and I were picking up more packing and moving supplies. Our big move back to the Midwest takes place next week, the end result of our lease being up here and my ongoing job search. It will be good to be back in Chicago, even if only temporarily. We have family to see, my aging mother in law, my brother with cancer, and our daughter, who we will live with. We have restaurants we want to visit and friends to see. It will be good even as it will be difficult. The atlas will help us get there, although that’s not really why I bought it. I’ve made the trip numerous times, this will be my third in less than six months. So, I know the route, and the stopping places, the gas stations and places to eat. No. I bought the atlas for another reason.

Ok. Actually I did buy it for part of the trip. I have been confused several times on the toll road through Oklahoma. Mapquest will tell me to take a particular toll road, but I have missed it several times and ended up on another one. It seems both toll roads run (mostly) parallel to each other so I am uncertain why one and not the other? It seems that one is “local” and the other is “express.” One has more toll stops but is less expensive, the other has fewer toll stops but is more expensive. Anyway I wanted the atlas to help me put it all in perspective.

I also bought the atlas because the one I had for ten or more years fell apart on my last road trip to Chicago. And, I’ve missed it. Google maps and mapquest are good for giving me the details of an area, a neighborhood, a city, or even a route. But it’s hard for me to get the big picture of city within a state or a state within the country from my computer. I like to put it all in perspective.

This Lent, as I did two years ago, I will be moving. Literally moving across country. It’s a strange way to spend Lent – packing, loading trucks, driving across country in uncertain weather conditions, and hoping it won’t be that bad. Moving for Lent offers plenty of opportunity for reflection and the potential for significant transformation. But just what that all will mean remains uncertain. It is after all a journey, whether its Lent to Easter or the SE desert to the Midwest. The fruit of this journey will only be known on the other side. An atlas can help me get there. An atlas can help me see the bigger picture. But an atlas cannot tell me everything. Somethings just have to wait to be revealed.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
This entry was posted in journey, Lent, move, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Atlas

  1. Bad Alice says:

    I love GPS devices, but the one thing they can't give is the big picture. My husband doesn't get that, or it doesn't bother him, but sometimes I just want to see the scope of a journey on a big map. I love the new look of your blog. Boy do I appreciate the larger type. Good luck on your journey. I have a couple of blog-y friends in Chicago, and I'm always jealous of their descriptions. I love Chicago (though I haven't been there in the winter).

  2. Gabriele says:

    Having lived in the same house for twenty five years this move of yours seems breathtakingly huge and overwhelming and you seem to be so calm and matter of fact and at ease with the uncertainty. I am trying to imagine how long it will take.You will be in my prayers.And I do hope you will have fun when you reach Chicago.

  3. Mompriest says:

    Gabriele, the drive is about 27 hours, assuming one can drive without any stops…LOL. Most of the time it has taken about 36 hours, with frequent stops and about a four hour nap the first night. This trip will take much longer because my husband is driving a 24 ft truck with all our belongings and I will drive a small SUV with our dogs and cats. I expect he will be fatigued from driving a vehicle that size through windy environs…So, we will only drive about 10 hours each day and stop for the night. We plan to leave Friday, Feb. 26 and hope to arrive in Chicago on Sunday Feb. 28. That will all depend on the weather as it can be quite unpredictable the entire way: rain, wind, snow, ice…or if we're lucky sun… We will travel east through southern Arizona, north and east through New Mexico, east through the Texas panhandle, northeast through Oklahoma from OK City to Tulsa, continue NE through Missouri and then NE from St. Louis to the far NW side of Chicago: 1800 miles.A very long drive. But yes, I am realtively at ease with this.

  4. Gabriele says:

    1800 miles. That is more than twice the distance north to south across Zimbabwe. Now my mind really boggles.

  5. Jan says:

    It is interesting to look at moves this year and last year during Lent. After these 40 days, I wonder at your thoughts. Safe travels. (Also, please send me your daughter's address.)

  6. revkjarla says:

    I totally agree about having a real live map. indeed. and is that cute doggy yours? Many prayers and thoughts your way as you finish packing….

  7. well i should everyone is moving in lent interiorally… some exteriorally as well. blessings for the remaining taping, packing, driving and leaving days ahead…

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