It’s fall now. The other day, I drove past a tree-lined road. The leaves were brilliant yellow, drawing my eyes in. Then I saw the foot path next to the road. I wanted to stop and explore. And it brought back a memory.
One summer my brothers worked in a national park, hacking new trails and maintaining old ones. They had to clear trees and brush, fill in holes, dig out rocks and sometimes put planks over boggy areas. As you can guess, it was hard work.
But when they finished, people came. Some brought cameras, tourist maps and a couple of extra pounds they planned to hike off. Others brought backpacks and tents, sleeping bags and a plan to go nowhere man had gone before. Many had foreign accents and a look that said ‘we’re here.’
No matter who they were or where they came from, all had expectations of where their chosen path would lead them.
Some trails ended on a peak overlooking a vast, lush valley. Some wound up to mountain lakes so clear you could see fish swimming in the middle. Others led to high meadows filled with wild flowers. Most brought tranquility, a oneness with nature, a promise of adventure.
I’ve been up a few of those paths. I’ve marveled and taken photos and gained memories that I’ll always have.
And even now, even facing this tree-lined road in the city, I have to smile and park the car, and see where this path will lead me.
How about you? What path or trail have you taken that you remember?