Talk about lovely lanes! Just returned from a road trip through seven countries in Europe, all of which possessed some of the most beautiful narrow, cobblestone streets in the world. Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Munich, Brussels...street after street just made me think about how everywhere, down winding country roads, through vineyards and corn fields, uptown, downtown, near main squares, and historic monuments, around the corner and on the edge of town...there are quiet, private, simple lanes with homes or flats or apartments or lofts, with flower boxes, brick fronts, stained glass, ancient heavy doors, brass knockers and rod-iron gates, new buildings juxtaposed against centuries old structures, all possessing mailboxes, an address, an owner, a landlord. Down every lane, there are people living their lives, moving through the day, no matter where, no matter the time, life is going on in different languages, other time zones, at varying paces. Children are dropped at daycare, people rush to the train, neighbors wave, some ride bikes, the elderly walk slow, teenagers run by, some sit and wait, others glance out windows, joggers jog, streets are swept. They stop for coffee, they read the paper, they have a quick chat. Cellphones are flipped open, the trash is taken out, the car parked, dishes done, mail checked, bills paid, floors cleaned. Time cards are kept, onions chopped, tomatoes diced, meat is browned, oven heated, phone calls returned, letters opened, TV turned on, the wine cork popped, bathtub filled, a load of laundry done...another day, all around the world, the sun is setting, the sun is rising, time is marching, and people are living, down the way, over a few blocks, on the other side of town, in another state, on a different continent, along all kinds of lanes, dirt paths, a culdesac, at the corner, behind a fence, on the top floor, next to their friends, or all alone. Everyone is dwelling somewhere, moving along, getting ahead, falling apart, picking up the pieces, starting over, just beginning, or staying the same...whichever, however, with whomever, together, broken, healing, spinning, surviving...everyone is doing life...down the way, in their own way, out of the way, or trying to find their way, they're plugging along, pulling the weeds, mowing the lawn, painting the trim, letting it all go or tending to every inch. The thing we all have in common, the thing that interconnects us, is that we're all trying to find our way, sometimes forward, most of the time back, but always, always, at the end of the day, we head home to our own place, to our own life on the lane.