Lives and forks

Anticipating a day in the nineties, I decided to take to the trails first thing this morning before the sun and humidity took over the day. So I grabbed a couple of cameras and began yet another journey down towards Lake Hancock.

I was only ten minutes in when I came to a fork in the trail … there was a little sign that gave me a choice of a lakeside trail or a shady oak trail. And my choice took me onto a path adorned with plants and trees covered with wonderful early morning dew. These are my two favorite shots and I hope you like them.

But the simple fork in the trail gave me cause to think, when faced with such forks how do we go about choosing our path when given such little information to make a choice? Of course there are some people in life, that when encountering a fork, they typically go to the right and there are those that go to the left. And there are those that don’t even see the fork because they are so committed to the right or left that there isn’t even a choice to be made.

Then there are those that stand there at the fork, unable to make a choice of their own. They wait for someone to tell them which way to go or perhaps some divine intervention to help them walk towards the light.

There must be millions of such forks in our lives and our ability to decide and move forward is really what makes our journey unique. No two of us actually follow the same path. Because, as happened this morning on the trail, we make our decisions for our own reasons and while it may look like we are going in the same direction for a while, we are encountering little more than temporary companions. On my chosen path this morning, I encountered others … there were lone naturalists, couples out for a stroll, a dad and his kid on bikes. There was a middle aged son with his elderly parents, and three long-distance runners momentarily on the same path as me.

Each had their own reasons; perhaps social, fitness, love of nature, or who knows what. My reason was that I miss my Mom and Dad and these outings really bring me closer to them and gives me time to talk with them  away from the maddening noise of “regular life”. So, it is highly unlikely that others shared my specific reason.

The funny thing is that whichever path you chose this morning, you ended up at the same lake. You may have taken longer in one direction than the other, you may have experienced different smells and sounds, seen different creatures or plants. But ultimately you arrived at the same place.

This is the start of alligator nesting season, so they had placed a barrier on the trail that ultimately became a dead-end. Much like our own journeys through life where we all reach our own dead-end eventually. So, if you spent your journey this morning, racing forward trying to get around the lake, then you missed out on what the journey was really about.

If our journeys bring us past roses, then we should really stop and smell them. If there are forks that give us alternatives along our path, then we need to make our own decisions and see where they take us. Mine brought me through dew-covered webs and I stopped and marveled at each one.

Life is too precious to run through it at pace or to have others make our decisions for us. By the time we reach that dead-end, we should have savored every step along the way.

Have a wonderful week and if you would like to see the awesome alligator that come over to check me out when I reached the lake, I uploaded a one-minute video on YouTube here …

Leave a Reply