Route 66

I’m not sure what it is about the open road but it has always called out to me.  I’ve been trying to wrap my mind and heart around it over the past several days as Jace and I make our way to the west coast, something I’ve always wanted to do with him.  I imagine the feeling must be similar to that of a bird as it stands on the edge of a depth unknown and finds the courage to leap trusting that its wings will catch the breeze and carry it safely anywhere it wants to go.

I’ve driven this route and countless others across the United States many times before, mostly alone, and always running from something.  But this time is different, this time life has come around full circle.  The past and the present are colliding… and the present is winning.

The last time I made this trip was a little over twelve years ago after finding out I was expecting.  I made the decision to pack what little belongings I had and move back home, from Los Angeles to Broken Bow, OK.  I was in no way prepared to be a mother and certainly wasn’t in the best place emotionally or physically to measure up to the task ahead of me, but I knew that my prayers had been answered.

I had prayed for a reason to live, for a reason to beat addiction, for a ray of hope, for forgiveness, for belonging and for help that I was too ashamed and prideful to ask for.  Nothing at that time made sense to me but I knew one thing with absolute clarity.  God had heard me.

As the familiarity and memories come flooding back with each mile traveled, city passed, state line crossed, ever changing landscape, the endless sky filled with the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and stars that I am certain could be touched if I reached far enough; the past and the present are colliding… and the present is winning.

The present reels me back in with the sweet sound of my son’s laughter, his curious questions, his own awe and wonder at his surroundings and his hilarious and entertaining dance moves in the car.  I am humbled that God trusted me enough to bless me with this little life.

Twelve years later the very reason I chose to leave Los Angeles is the same reason I am returning.  I know he doesn’t understand it yet and maybe he never will.  But, I at least hope he will take away something special from this trip and file it away in his beautiful mind.  I hope he will remember it as his own life comes full circle someday.

I want his heart to be full of curiosity and adventure as he finds his own way in this world, I want him to have the courage to leap and trust that his wings will catch the breeze and carry him safely wherever he wants to go.  But, even more so, I want him to know that he will never be alone.

Embrace this life and all it has to offer… and may the present always win.

Jessica Caudle



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