Thursday, April 19, 2012

Long Road Out of Eden

Behold the bitten apple,
      the power of the tools;
But all the knowledge in the world
      is of no use to fools.
And it's a long road out of Eden

Most folks today set off on the path to adulthood and independence after journeying along a rather well-traveled path. We grow from infancy, to adolescence, to young adulthood marked by passage across the stepping-stones of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school. Eventually we all undergo a moment or a period where we transition from dependence on our parents to taking full responsibility for leading our own kingdoms. For some this transition is abrupt. For some it happens more slowly with time. Sometimes this change is painful and awkward, and sometimes it flows fairly smoothly and naturally. However things go, they still go, and we all must eventually strike out on our own.

For me, although the transition point was clearly marked on the calendar well in advance of the moment, it still snuck up on me. It started when my parents dropped me off at college. They had planned to spend most of the day with me and go through some of the day-long orientation. However, my father decided to get back on the road a bit earlier than we had originally planned. The abruptness of the decision caught me by surprise and before I had a chance to firmly settle my mind, I was watching from the window in my new dorm room as they drove away. Maybe because the transition didn't happen exactly as I had planned it or because I wasn't quite ready, I was left unsettled and scared. As I sat in that silent, empty room, surrounded by a few boxes that contained my worldly possessions, it was then that I finally understood that my life had changed completely and permanently. The life that I had come to know was over. To me it seemed a long road out of Eden, but my how the miles flew by once I was out there.