Thursday, April 26, 2018

Off the Beaten Track

We went on a hike last weekend with friends. It's always amusing to see all the different personalities emerge and watch all of our individual ways of handling this kind of adventure, or challenge, as it is for some.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Some of us love the wild and unpredictable, the idea of getting lost, the places where there is no path and the challenge of the unmarked journey. Others of us like to know the plan, how long the journey will take, where we can we stop and what snacks there are to eat... You get the picture!

What fascinates me though is how we relate to 'life' in general, does not always correspond to how we approach a hike. Take me, for example. In general, I do like to know the plan. I try to be organised and prepared. I like to be punctual and complete tasks within a set time frame. But on a hike the thought of getting lost excites me, the fact that we don't know which way we're going or what time we'll finish brings out the care-free side of me and it's refreshing to be reminded that there are times when it's okay not to rush... to know... or to have a plan. And sometimes it takes getting off the beaten track to be reminded of that.  

 "Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt." 
- John Muir 

I must say, I really enjoyed the hike. I mean I was so hot and sweaty by the end, sometimes my muscles ached and the long grass against my skin made me itchy. But this road less travelled, was a moment in time to be surrounded by nature and see interesting bugs and creatures in their natural environment (instead of my kitchen for a change). And to be lost... lost in the physical sense of not really knowing which direction we were going but lost in thoughts too. And sometimes that's exactly when everything starts to make more sense and become clearer. It's like we get a new way to see everything.

How often do we make time to wander, to explore and to connect in this different way? I know I don't do it nearly enough but I loved the opportunity to disconnect and clear my mind of the normal, every-day stresses. And I know it's something our family need to do more often.

"Maybe the best moment of your life will be on your next big adventure." 
- Siya Zarrabi