In Alberta’s northwest, a backroad highway connects the town of Grimshaw with the town of Fairview; halfway between the two this road runs north one kilometre from the connector into muskeg and bush, a place where a family has made their home. At this intersection, heart-shaped wreaths are attached to two signs – this one, ‘No Through Road’ leading into this homestead; and, another is attached to the stop sign as the road rejoins traffic along the connector highway. The words ‘no through road’ within a setting in which a farmer would have a tough go in producing crops or raising livestock provoke ideas about Life’s journey needing to be carved out, step following step, day-by-day with eyes upon one’s goal – our path being something we construct each day of our Life. Life becomes journey, Life holds endeavor and endeavor is about recognizing potential, engaging in work, and celebrating/acknowledging achievement.
Thinking through this No Through Road sign first surfaced ideas about settling and moving no further, recalling mediocrity, a term derived from medias (middle) and ocrus (mountain), settling having to do with the climb of a journey up a mountain and finding oneself getting comfortable at the halfway point so much so that no further movement along the climb is undertaken. The narrative within this image is not about mediocrity, however. Life’s endeavor or Life’s challenge is more significant, that act of choosing to plant yourself where you are, looking to what you can achieve, using all that you know – skills and abilities – to embrace Life’s challenge in order to add something into the world. That’s what goes on at the end of this road. The through road that is yet to come will associate to the Life or Lives beyond the present endeavor at this road’s end.
Wreaths tied to signs caused me to stop and look around; the wreaths are inviting and suggest love and care and concern for others; the wreaths also serve to landmark one family’s location on their portion of the frontier for others to find.
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