Across Central

Across Central

This week in route to the hospital to visit my son who suffered a stroke, I found myself on the same route I took four and a half years ago to Grand Canyon University for a job interview. The university campus is in the heart of the city, and being new to Phoenix I was not familiar with where streets end and avenues began. I got a little turned around.

I stopped at the building where the GPS guided me, and sought out the bank’s security guard for assistance. He said, “miss you are on 27th Street, where you want to go is 27th Avenue and that is across Central.” Apparently, I inadvertently used street rather than avenue when putting the address in the GPS. I thanked the guard and streaked out of the building back to the car where my husband was waiting. Thank God we had left our house early to allow time for getting lost.

We drove West toward Central Avenue. I observed that the area East of Central Avenue was aesthetically appealing. I was struck by the modernity of the area, the attractive landscape, and the newness of it all. I felt comfortable. However, when we crossed Central Avenue the scenery changed. The buildings were retro, there was an abundance of strip malls blighted by neglect, there was more concrete than landscape making the environment feel hot and dull. People in various occupations of “DIS EASE” roamed the streets. My optimism began to fade the farther we drove away from Central.

As we approached our destination I began to notice the signs pointing us to the university, one read “ Lopes County,” the moniker for the school’s mascot­– an antelope. In the distance I noticed structures that stood high above the others, as we moved closer I could see the campus. It appeared as a city unto itself. Once inside the gates, the urban disrepair and chaos felt far off. What’s my point?

This is my point. I inhabited this comfortable world of work. I got used to the routine, the bi-weekly paychecks, the stress of the job, and even occasional boredom, in spite of knowing that I am built for something else. Safety and security dominated my will and hovered over my dreams. So, each year I cocooned myself in a comfortable environment. After nearly five years and life changes, I am compelled to leave all that is familiar for uncertainty and discomfort.

Retirement is embarking on new territory, traveling between East and West Central. Home awaits, across Central, where the air is free, and I get strength from possibility. I am surrounded by things that are good for me and I good for them. But first, I have to get across Central. For now, we focus on healing, and trusting God for next steps– one at a time.

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