Wednesday, September 16, 2009

blazing trails, part 1

I've had a path fetish for a long, long time. They call to me, want me to follow where they go, and some part of my being can't resist the opportunity to see where any path will lead. There's something about the mystery of what lies ahead, out of view, around the next corner, at the end...

Many paths, however, are disappointing. There isn't much of interest along its trail, it doesn't weave but a time or two, and the mystery it holds at its conclusion doesn't live up to the anticipation. I have almost come to the point where I believe that the suggestion of the mystery a path may hold is more alluring than the path itself. I find that as tantalizing as the path may appear, I rarely yield any longer to the invitation it offers. Except now and then.

On the other hand, I've got my mind and heart set on a building a path at Melrose. This picture is of one of our views, known as Bampy's View (named for my grandfather). We keep limbs pruned and take down any young whippersnapper that grows up into it and interferes with the clarity of this view. Across the road and down the hill perhaps 100 yards is the road that weaves through the property. In that section of steeped land, winding through the woods and ascending and descending the elevation I want to create a path. The intent of the path is for walking, getting a little exercise without taxing aging bodies and aching joints too much.

I'm also realizing that my desire for the path goes beyond what it will yield upon its completion (which will probably take years!). Forging the path is strongly compelling. I'm not one who enjoys physical labor, so that part I will have to tolerate. But the idea of working in concert with the land and woods, responding to its openings and respecting thicknesses of growth, has enormous appeal. The creation of this path will truly be one of discovering mysteries and encountering surprises. With each section cleared the trees and undergrowth that are revealed will yield the next opportunity or challenge. And like the journey of a labyrinth, each walk along the completed path will be its own encounter with the trail, the woods, and the mysteries that life holds along the way.

I am coming to understand that forging a path, in this literal sense, is also a metaphor for an inner journey. But that is part 2. Today I invite you to see where you are led this day. What paths invite you to traverse them? What challenge lies ahead? What mystery attends you as you make your way?

Blessings to you as you journey.

2 comments:

kimquiltz @ an oft traveled road said...

I have a path I would like to make more "user friendly". The ground is pretty uneven and without strong ankles it's a bit treacherous. Must think of way to get son or Big Man to figure out way....

Jayne said...

Like you, I see paths as a journey, and love seeing where they go. And, I know that when I am led down a path, I always somehow know which way to turn... trusting that it's just where I am supposed to be in that moment. A path at Melrose sounds lovely.

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