My son, Gabe, and I are preparing for our annual father-son trip. This year, we will be in the American southwest. You can see our planned route above, starting in Phoenix, Arizona, and ending up in San Francisco, California. Along the way we will be visiting Canyon de Chelly, still being farmed by Native Americans – this land has sustained families for thousands of years. We will also go to the rim of the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Sequoia National Forest to see some of the biggest trees in North America. And midway, stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, to enjoy Cirque de Soleil’s LOVE (which I have seen twice before).

This is the same trip I took with my wife in 1994 for our honeymoon, though we spent an additional week to traverse the same route.  There is something elegant and comforting about repeating an amazing excursion. In addition to revisiting places fondly recalled, it’s an opportunity to marvel over all that has happened in the intervening 23 years, including my son’s birth and my daughter’s adoption.

Of course, there are many ways in which this trip won’t be the same, and that is always true. For one thing, my wife was much more particular about where we stayed along the way! Accommodations are sure to be a bit less posh.

Nonetheless, it will represent some kind of cycle in my life, bringing me around to a new point through an experiential repitition.

In the week ahead, what do you see that looks like someplace you’ve been before, and how have you changed since last you were there? What do you appreciate about what was and what has come to pass?

“You cannot step twice into the same river.”

– Heraclitus