i drive past this corner almost every day on my way to and from work. grouse avenue at 300th street. it doesn’t usually look quite like this. but on this particular day it was dry and dusty and windy. almost sunset. there was a vehicle headed west, stirring up a cloud of dust as it made its way down the gravel road. from the stop sign i quickly snapped a few shots, and this was my favorite.
i have never seen a grouse along this stretch of road, so am unsure why the name choice. i looked up “grouse” in the online dictionary. grouse as a noun refers to “any of various chiefly ground-dwelling birds.” and grouse as a verb means “to complain; to grumble.” and then i looked at the synonyms and found a long list that makes me smile… here are some of them: “beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp, caterwaul, crab, croak, fuss, gripe, grizzle, grouch, complain, growl, grumble, grump, holler,…” grouse avenue on this particular day looks much better than these words describe.
mare and i recently watched the vow, and i remember a main character leo talking about “moments of impact.” moments that happen and change our lives. how we look at life. and how we live our lives after such moments. april 25th, 1986 is one such moment of impact for me. twenty-six years ago on this day was when i fell from the top of the third story of my friend shaffer’s house, leaving the lower half of my body paralyzed. and i’m forever changed by that moment. a moment of impact.
so am listening to music from the mid-eighties today. it takes me back to the time before and after that moment of impact. mr mister playing kyrie and broken wings. corey hart doing never surrender. and likely my favorite, john parr doing st. elmo’s fire/man in motion. john and david foster wrote that song for rick hanson, a young man paralyzed from a truck accident more than twenty-five years ago as well. he wheeled his way around the world to raise money for spinal cord research, and inspired thousands of people, one of which is me.
traveling down grouse avenue, so to speak, is not something i want to do. i do not want to be one of the “chiefly ground-dwelling” types. i do not want to “beef, bellyache, bitch, bleat, carp,” etc. because for some reason i still believe that even though this is not an ideal road to travel, God makes good come out of it, and breathes purpose into every road we travel. sometimes we just need to look through the dust to see the beauty of it all.