Rabbit Trails: Taking ‘Rabbit Trails’ of a many-splendored life
by By DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Mar 24, 2013 | 488 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The saying “Life is a many-splendored thing” is a play on the 1955 movie title, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”

In fact, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” was based on the novel “A Many-Splendored Thing,” by Han Suyin.

Google now tells me it is believed Suyin chose the title from Francis Thompson’s poem, “The Kingdom of God.” A portion of the poem reads, “’Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces, That miss the many-splendored thing.’”

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, splendor means a great brightness or luster; magnificence. So whether life or love, luster and brightness are to be found on many sides.

Initially, I planned to start this column a little differently. I wanted to tell you about growing up as an Army brat and constantly being in transition. I wanted to say I have lived in 13 cities, eight states, two countries and attended 10 schools. I wanted to inform you my transitional years revealed life is a many-splendored thing.

The problem is sometimes I get distracted — by thoughts, sounds, words, etc. My self-restraint is enough to keep me on track, but why should Jiminy Cricket always take the lead? (I understand he was Pinnochio’s self-conscience, but restraint falls under his department too, right?)

Sometimes inviting a passing thought in for a moment of your time can lead you to Eureka-sized epiphanies.

Sometimes taking a step off the beaten path brings you to a paradise unknown (and sometimes it earns you a spot on “When Wildlife Attacks.”).

Sometimes you recover a piece of who you once were and a glimpse of who you might become.

Sometimes following life’s rabbit trails leads you on the most unexpected and fulfilling adventures.

At least, this has been my experience.

I am a little less than a quarter-of-a-century old. The years are lengthening, but still against me. Further observations to support my “Rabbit Trails” theory come from others’ life stories, movies and books.

What if C.S. Lewis had never thought to write from the perspective of demons or if Bilbo Baggins had never decided to follow a quirky wizard and his party of dwarves?

What a great loss it would have been.

Why fan boys and girls everywhere would mourn something they had never known!

I can see your frown in my mind’s eye. I’ve jumped the gun again, haven’t I? Perhaps I should at least mention the definition of a “rabbit trail.”

Try not to laugh as I quote my next source.

According to the ever-esteemed Urbandictionary.com, a rabbit trail means, “Veering off subject or off the point of conversation.”

I agree with this first definition, but find qualms with the second, “A story or explanation leading nowhere.”

To that end, I do not believe following rabbit trails always means, “Making statements with no real purpose just for the sake of stating [them].”

I defer to the first definition for the sake of this column. Otherwise, it might as well be called “Hot Air.” What I will discover while visiting with you every three weeks is still unknown. At little under a quarter-of-a-century, there is still much for me to learn.

Whether you like it or not, I will share my thoughts and my experiences. Perhaps I will take you along on a zip-line ride or discuss my horror of war and simultaneous deep respect for our soldiers.

Remember, embracing the rabbit trails of life can be a good thing.

It is easy to see the blue of the sky and the smile of a co-worker and the freedom of friends. It is easy to appreciate the black and white of life without regard to the blurry gray. It is easy to swim among shallow thoughts without testing the waters of deeper depths.

I’m not saying rabbit trails should consistently be a way of life. How would there be any coherency in a life where the only consistency is inconsistent thoughts? This is a mere suggestion to take a couple seconds, minutes or hours to discover the possibilities of a many-splendored life.