I’ve always believed the beauty of our simple sport is that one can lace up and go wherever…..go in the direction of where one hears the “path” calling.
As we embark on a trek in Snowshoes for a little Flying Pig cross training, the drive in entrance to the trail “path” is missed on the left hand side of the road, but something to the right catches our eyes. A sign to a “different path”! The unspoken agreement is to try this new to both of us “path” and “right” we go.
A “right” when we planned to go left led me to wonder, are paths a necessary part of plans? The path most traveled can be a great place to begin, but does the “journey” really begin when one gets off?
The newly fallen snow is entertaining us with a light show as winter twilight glistens and reflects off the icing snow blanket, covering the Michigan woods. The bare trees have now been dressed in inches of white fluff showing off thick branches and accentuating the subtle curves of the winding twigs and branches. It’s these winter views that make even the coldest of hearts melt with warmth from the simple beauty of natures frosting.
I’m trekking along when I look up to realize it’s just me now on the path. My lead has stepped off and suddenly I’m struck, “why am I still on the path? Trekking is what I do….this was my idea….i live the road less traveled….I’m the one who infamously gets lost…..so GET OFF I silently scream to myself.” I get off and now the crunching is heightened, the trees are thicker, the steps are more purposeful; the snow less traveled is just that, less traveled, and it is I who now is in full control of my own adventure, life, experiences, quality, and significantly my “right path.”
Even our conversation has changed from small and surface to speaking of profound and core touching loss, gains, hopes, worries, stumbles, trys, dreams, and “right paths” for our futures. Nothing anymore is obvious on this trek into a pathless and soon to be star lit journey through the winter woods. We stumble……we’ll ok, I walked over branches, climbed a fence, and snowshoed into someone’s backyard in order to figure out what seemed to be a mysterious “statue”. The irony of a teacher breaking rules to stumble upon a statue of two children reading and being read to was not lost. I hope their frozen book was opened to the page where adventures were beginning and that they would read of others who dared to break “right,” and they too would dare so themselves when “right” moments presented.
I’m fully present to this message in my pathless journey in the snow. And the most beautiful part may be that I could look back and really see where I had come from and where I was going could yet be determined. Each step and experience honestly leading and building up to the next.
A path may indeed be the right place to start, but the journey seems to REALLY begin when one is brave enough to step off right, when its right. Or use ones wings if it’s time to fly!