Even though those steps led to nowhere, I still remember them as an important and hallowed part of the family farm. Whenever our large family got together, say for the 4th of July holiday, those steps became the place where bushel baskets of fresh ears of corn were shucked and garden green beans were snapped by the pot-full. I have fond memories of playing hide and seek with my cousins in the back yard while the women prepared our feast perched on those back steps. Multitasking was the name of the game for them; shucking, snapping and visiting, all while keeping an eye on us kids.
While I never witnessed it, I’m pretty sure the back steps was also where a chicken or two made their ultimate contribution to dinner. Funny how those chickens scattered through the backyard during our games, but never once did they venture close to the back steps. I suppose they saw the steps as hallowed ground as well.
Every summer grandpa made a four-hour round trip trek to the Missouri Bootheel to buy a pickup bed full of watermelons to bring back to friends and neighbors. After dinner, grandpa would use the back steps to bust open the dark green variegated rind, exposing the beautiful red flesh for the family to devour. Grandpa was a connoisseur of good melon and was known to cut them open only to eat the heart and leave the rest for us kids. We loved standing on the back steps and spitting the seeds into the yard.
The steps that went to nowhere are indeed hallowed in my mind. I believe they’re a beautiful metaphor for how our lives can be repurposed for something even greater than we had ever thought possible. If it seems your life is going nowhere, take heart; it just means you’re on the brink of a new purpose and adventure.
Was there a time in your life when you thought you had lost your purpose, only to discover a new purpose that was actually more meaningful than before?