The Incredible Journey

This journey took place in a part of Canada which lies in the northwestern part of the great sprawling province of Ontario. It is a vast area of deeply wooded wilderness–of endless chains of lonely lakes and rushing rivers. Thousands of miles of country roads, rough timber lanes, overgrown tracks leading to abandoned mines, and unmapped trails snake across its length and breadth.

— from The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford, 1960.

I enjoyed this book as much as my son. The three animals, a labrador, bull terrier, and Siamese cat, are old friends by the end, and the wilderness they travel through is described with a great deal of personal knowledge.

I chose the above quote, the very beginning of the novel, because I needed some passage into deeper, darker subjects. I don’t exactly know what is going on right now, but I am following an unmapped trail through my life. My house is messier than usual. I’m reading like a maniac. I somehow manage to get all the meals and food issues taken care of (though I’m not sure how). I write when I can even to the point of writing a new story freehand on the back of my kids’ scrap paper. I’ve gotten myself and all three kids to the dentist in the last few days. School beginning is at the back of my mind, and I’m stockpiling the necessary books and things. And now I’m thinking, with all this strange busyness, this push to get my book read, get my story written, get school going, get everything done, where am I headed? What incredible journey am I on? Did those animals know exactly where they were headed? The lab did; he was the leader, following his instinct to his home three hundred miles away. The other two followed because they always stayed together. Am I running on instinct right now? Am I simply following a path God set out for me? My life feels so strange.

But here I go, ever forward. Don’t look back.


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