Lulus and A Travel Quote

My favorite annual is the Lulu Marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia)
When petunias are leggy (or eaten by the deer),
pansies are wilted (or eaten by the deer),
these Lulus carry on.

They have the smell of a marigold,
but the look of lace and ferns.
They are the last bit of color in the fall,
surviving light frosts.

»     »     »

I’m 76 pages into John Steinbeck’s Travels With Charley.  I’ve filled four journal pages with quotes.  His observations on traveling, people-watching, and pondering resonate with me.  I grab my task-oriented husband by the shirt and make him listen to a paragraph.  “How does he do that – write so compellingly?” the busy man wonders.  While I suspect that Steinbeck is coming from the point of view of determinism, I can agree with the next paragraph in light of God’s providence. 

Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over.  A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all journeys.  It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. 

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.  And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.  Tour masters, schedules, reservation, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. 

Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it.  Only then do the frustrations fall away.  In this a journey is like a marriage.  The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.  (p. 4)


4 thoughts on “Lulus and A Travel Quote

  1. You are masterful at picking out good quotes and then tying them into your posts.
    While I think Steinbeck is worth reading, I have some trouble with his  politics.  I know I cant pick apart the private life of every single author, musician, etc, or I would never read or listen to anything.  But it is something I think about when prioritizing.
    Like no matter how much I might like Picasso’s Dove drawing, I would never hang it in my home because of its association with the Communist Party.

  2. Great thoughts to tie into your upcoming trip, eh?  I’ve been thinking about Steinbeck more and more, as I begin writing “in earnest.”  Just stringing words along in a pleasing/pleasant manner isn’t good enough anymore.  But it also takes a lot more time this way, too!

  3. Thanks for this quote.  It is so true!  I planned our England/Wales trip for months – scheduling it out,  in what I thought would be feasible – but it wasn’t nearly as flexible as it should have been.  Our journey or trip “took us” immediately, when our straight through flight from Seattle that I had booked purposely, was canceled and we couldn’t leave until the next day – and that with a four hour layover in another city. The adventure began…I learned so much for “next time!”  Sherry 

  4. I loved the parallel with the sovereignty of our great God who takes us on such journeys that carry us towards eternity. It also made me want to get up during the darkness and just head out somewhere facing the dawn, and let the journey define itself.  That is harder to do now on the east coast! Blessings and much love, m in sc

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