Friday, August 9, 2013

The Path

   I’ve been pondering a bit more than usual lately  and avoiding pondering a bit by trying to catch up on some television programs I’ve recorded.  But I know, underneath the trying to avoid it, the pondering continues.  I know because here and there and from time to time a thoughtburst occurs that usually begins a puzzling inner dialogue that leads to more questions than it does answers and I am in touch with anxiety.  The dominant pondering lately is connected to questions of where I want to devote my energies.  This is very familiar. It’s all about the path taken and not taken.
     I remember when I was in Washington and was walking up a path into the woods by myself.  I was taking pictures of light and shade and plants and trees and flowers and hoping to see a bee or two and try to capture that in a photograph.  I started to walk straight up the hill and when I came to a path on the right I kept walking straight.  I am a go-left person. Political?   The right path didn’t appeal to me.  I proceeded up the fairly steep hill. If I spoke like a mathematician or an engineer I'd offer a degree to the incline, but to me, steep. I knew because I felt the burn in my calves. 
     Dense stands of trees lined both sides of the path subduing the sunlight.  I like sunlight.  I saw no one and suddenly wondered if this was a safe path to take.  I decided to go to the next curve of the path.  In front of me lay another steeper incline, more trees, and another curve much further up the road.  Feeling alone, frustrated, and now a bit unsafe, I turned back towards the other path.  As I approached it from uphill, this path was now the right path, because it was on the left.  I turned and followed the more gentle slope up and up.  I paused taking pictures on the more sun-filled trail.  I followed the path to the top, where I stood overlooking the Straits of Juan de Fuca, overlooking the lighthouse. I smiled, sunlight enveloping me, on the bluff.
       My pondering often leads me up a steep hill where I pass by the right path, ignoring it because I don’t prefer the right path. If I’d just let the pondering go underground, away from conscious thought, if I’d just be patient and have faith,  I might just get the feeling that I need to turn around and go back down the hill and take the path on the left.  After all, it just may be the right path.

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