A Walk in the Woods

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I,
I took the one less traveled by.
And that has made all the difference.” ~ Robert Frost.

Life’s about choices, surely. We make hundreds if not thousands every day. What to wear, what to eat, what to say-if we speak, & who we speak to. And so on. It’s what we do.

Sometimes, we find that the choices we made may not have been so smart-even if they seemed right at the time. Like that awful sweater your great Aunt Matilda knitted for you at Christmas and you actually wore. Or something that had more serious darker consequences. A series of choices- some predictable, comfortable. Some outside of our usual box. Scary? Maybe.

It’s easy to take a well worn path-no bumps and plenty of company. The sights are familiar and reassuring, speeding down the interstate highway of life. Us homo sapiens like familiar and reassuring. I just read somewhere that most people never move more than 50 miles from where they grew up. That’s certainly true in my case.

But what about those adventurous types? You know, the ones happy to be hacking through the jungle with a machete just on the chance they’ll discover something exciting (like the jungle isn’t exciting enough, right?) . Like the astronauts who hopped into a tin can on top of Saturn rocket and disembarked on the moon? These people have seen amazing things. Like Terra from space, and the cataracts of the Nile. Treading those paths takes faith, confidence, and courage.

Faith- in your own abilities, in others to support you. In God, whatever form(s) you worship. That the journey will be breathtaking, and worth the effort.

Confidence- in yourself (links to faith) , that you can overcome obstacles in the way.

Courage-to take those steps into the unknown -possibly alone, and ask yourself: I wonder where this way goes? There be dragons….possibly.

There’s an old cliche that familiarity breeds contempt. I think it breeds complacency. We get comfortable in our routines and we forget to look around us. In nature, animals that get complacent also get dead-pretty quickly. Just watch Animal Planet if you doubt me.

I’m not saying we should live our lives as thrill seeking adrenaline junkies, but I think it’s good to venture down those seldom walked roads occasionally. Make new friends, try new things, keep on your toes. Push the envelope-just a little. It’ll feed your soul. You can always get back on the main highway later. But every once in awhile – go see what’s in those woods…

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Photo by: David Ortona www.facebook.com/DaveyXOrtona

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