I was thinking the other day about how much of my time I spend feeling my way.

I never realized I was going through life this way until I started thinking about it. I was driving home from a place in town and turned down a road I had only taken once before but was fairly certain was a shortcut to where I needed to go.

As I went on, I became less and less certain, until suddenly I rounded a bend in the road and literally heaved a sigh of relief and simultaneously thought “OK, this is the right way because the light is right.”

Not a traffic light, mind you. The angle of the sun.

I could not, at any given time and without some thought on the matter, tell you which direction is north, south, east or west.

But dammit, I knew where I was because the light was right.

That’s what I mean about feeling my way. When I drive somewhere, I go by feel: I use landmarks. Don’t ask me street names. I generally don’t know them. I can tell when something feels right: when the shape of the land, the curve of the slope, the large tree next to the boulder all look right.

 

I think I do the same in many other areas of my life. For example, raising the kids. Because, as anyone can tell you, every kid is different, and what works for one may not work for the others. Have you been to the parenting section of the bookstore lately? There are approximately as many different parenting books as there are stars in the sky. Daunting, to say the least.

But I can tell you that there are times as a parent when I’ve been up against things and simply thought “How can I handle this? What’s the right thing to do?”

While I didn’t get an answer, so much, I did get…well, I could see where the light was right. Where there was a tree next to a boulder, and that must surely be the way to go.

And I’ve found that when I parent by feel this way, I usually end up where I wanted to go in the first place.

And that’s a good feeling.

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