Yielding the Way / by Kendall R


Yield - day 39
Originally uploaded by iamkr
I am convinced the parts of me below the waterline, the quiet soul is always moving the surface more than I would like to admit. This picture was taken on an evening I was rolling into Buena Vista for the weekend – a weekend I knew would be filled with reunions and storytelling, but also rest and yielding. Yield signs are optional stops, more like slow down, take a breath, catch your bearings as you move forward. They also speak of giving the right of way when needed, but that takes slowing down enough to know when to give it. Below the waterline knew Yielding was needed, and that maybe in the yielding, I would get to see something beautiful reflected.

Not an hour after taking that picture, I was unexpectedly seeing old friends – some I haven’t seen in 5-7 years; I was meeting their children, hearing about their lives. At one point I looked around the room and we had five generations ranging in ages 72 to 5 and we have all shared parts of the journey in different capacities these past 20 years. We sat back after dinner to hear my old roommate - who is now a professor of Classics nearing 40 - tell the multifaceted adventure of his engagement and wedding plans. All these years and life behind us, and we picked up where left off like it was just a moment ago.

That Yield sign came up on me quicker than I expected with that roomful of friends. Having lost most of my voice earlier in the week I couldn’t say much. I could only listen and smile and nod and take pictures: Story - Day 42

The weekend continued, and I was moving at a near glacial pace as if my whole soul was taking the time to slow down and breath even if I wasn’t ready for it. I was able to see more, hear more, and be present to people in ways I would not have otherwise if I had been my normal move and go, what’s next agenda-type self. In the Torah there is a moment in which Joseph (as in the Technicolor Dreamcoat boy) tells his brothers as they are leaving, “Don’t quarrel on the way.” A Hasidic Rabbi said of this, ”For this reason Joseph said to them, ‘the hour of your arrival at your destination has been appointed by Heaven. If you hurry on the way, you will only be delayed by some other reason. So don’t quarrel with the way.’” Don’t fight with the journey, might be another way of saying it. And in my weekend I learned quickly that to Yield is to yield, to not fight with the way, to be ok with not getting much done.

When I took that picture of the Yield sign I had no idea how much was being said in a snapshot, how much some other part of me was sending a message I needed to hear. I am still learning not to quarrel with the way, but giving up the fight isn’t always my first choice. And it’s counter-intuitive to our culture. Still, something seems to beg for more breathing room in the places below the waterline of our lives.