Pathways

The pathways of life.

So many paths to take, so many choices to make in one’s life. My life, probably not much unlike your own, has taken many unexpected twists and turns along the way.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of life on the farm and the many paths myself and my siblings made all over the hills. I could step right off the back porch of the house my dad built on the farm and head into the make believe worlds of childhood. Sometimes alone and sometimes with my siblings, we would climb.

The hill wasn’t steep but it was a steady climb to the top. Our land was separated from the neighbors by a barb wire fence. At times there would be cattle on either side, other times the hay would be standing tall in the wind. From the fence line, we could walk down into the ravine or cross over to the ‘high wall’. This high wall was from mining days and there was a pond there. We would always sneak over there to check on the beaver dam. I say sneak because parents always warned us about going there, the pond was deep and the loose rock of the high wall made for some dangerous climbing. But kids have no fear and off we went anyway. Without a wristwatch, having no idea of the time, we somehow would always make it home in time to clean up for dinner. We were more in tune with nature back then I think. We would look to the sky, the sun telling us when it was time to head home.

Times were simple, and life stretched out in a seemingly endless path of hopes and dreams. But life doesn’t stay simple for long. My path led me through dropping out of school, marriage, children, returning to school, earning degrees, having careers, starting businesses, closing businesses and starting anew. The path that once lay before me so straight and clear had oftentimes become a Gordon knot of twists and turns and double backs.

As I inch closer to my 60th year, I have learned to relax a bit more. Things can wait, it’s okay to take a deep breath, and literally stop to smell the roses. And not just stop, but linger there in the moment. I find myself reconnecting to nature as I did before in childhood but in a more profound way. I am learning to accept the ebbs and flows of life.

My path and yours will diverge again and again and that’s okay. Change is where we learn. So where will your path take you today? Mine is leading me to trust in friendships again. Today as I set out to meet my newfound friends for lunch, I wish you well, I wish you a path filled with friendship and love on this beautiful fall day.

Helen

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