Biblical narrators used the number 40 as a spiritual marker and sign of a complete journey. Throughout the Bible the 40 days/nights was used to signify lengthy, important feats including restoration, exile, temptation, and travels. Day 40 will be no less significant on my corner at 37th and Nicollet, as the preparations for a first layer of asphalt mark a major milestone.
The major digging and tearing up and mess making now moves to the finishing stages. It includes concrete bus pads and driveway entrances, several layers of asphalt, sewer covers and curbs, and finally sidewalks and boulevards. Each of these next pieces feel more like steps toward a finish line than the earlier work which just seemed to spiral around digging and filling, although each dig and fill was forward movement in its own way.
My spirits had been pretty low up until the Thursday meeting where we got the news that this last phase could be done before the end of June. Perhaps it was the spiralling feel, or the cloudy, cool days on end, or just the never-ending explanations of what and how long... Somehow, having an end that feels near, and the visible progress of "actual roadway" instead of dirt, has had the effect of restoring my confidence and hope in getting through this journey.
I'll think of this as a 40 day / 40 night kind of event for me and shop, a trial, a challenge, and an opportunity. We've had to rethink much of what we do, refine for efficiency, and pull out the reserves. Transforming? Yes, for both the road and my business.