April 3, 2022, Atlanta- I left Heart of Dixie Motel, the fixer-upper that did not even have its own towels. (I had my own, for just such an eventuality.) It was mid-morning and I had plenty of time to get up here, to mid-town Atlanta, by the time I was to host a Zoom call. So it went, and the two paradigms of life in America stood in contrast to one another. Rural Dadeville, with mostly comfortable single family homes and a motel or two to house migrant workers, just up the road from the aspiring surrounds of Lake Martin-a fishing and boating mecca that gives east central Alabama a much-needed boost, versus Atlanta, the symbol of the South that rose again, with every amenity that one could call upon.
I find myself in a Sonesta Hotel, one of those which have become part of the system first established by A.M. Sonnabend, a Boston-based entrepreneur, of whom I heard as a child. Mr. Sonnabend lent the first three letters of his name to the brand-“Son”esta. I worked in a Sonesta, in Bangor, Maine, for a few months, in 1976-7, while simultaneously feeling my way in the newly-emerging field of educating the emotionally-disabled. I held my own in that motel job, and may actually have been better off sticking with the field, at least until I got my head on straighter. Things happen the way they should, though, and here I am, 46 years later, glad to have reached equilibrium in my life and impacted a fair number of children and youth in a positive way.
The next day or two will find me bidding farewell to the Hyundai Sonata, which safely took me to Miami Beach and back, via Brunswick, Amelia Island, Kennedy Space Center, Key West, Big Cypress, Naples (FL), Lake Okeechobee, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Spring Hill, and the Carter Country of southwest Georgia. Thinking things through, in the safety of a comfortable hotel room, is not hard. I have Celtic music gently playing and the knowledge that, although the faith-based activities I hoped to have included in this journey were eclipsed by lingering pandemic-related restrictions, I did right by family members along the way and made new, if fleeting, friendships-with people I may very well encounter again in the future. I kept the online meeting commitments I had, that either did not conflict with family engagements or get rendered cumbersome by lack of a proper venue at the time they were scheduled.
Above all else, I did not fold, did not collapse or get shaken by either aloneness or by the ignorance of others who did not honour my presence, even though I did theirs. March was both a hard energy month and a stage filled with opportunities for growth. April, May and June will bring more of the latter-mostly around Home Base, but with another likely journey of observation and service, towards the end of Spring.
The flutes and strings are telling me to be gentle with self and re-group, in any way that such is needed.