Over the weekend, I went for a hike along the river, only this time, I went to an area I had not been to for a while. The photos in this post are from my hike.
The river was flowing strong under bright blue skies, and the birds were having a moment. It was a beautiful day that felt like spring.
A couple of years ago, during a bad storm, the river flooded and changed its course in some places. Many trees were uprooted. Walking along the river, I could see the damage done to its banks.
Same river, different landscape, new paths to take.
The path ran along the riverbank. Occasionally, it would turn towards the woods or meander through the brush, and I had to make my way around fallen trees and broken tree branches. I couldn’t always see too far ahead.
I came to what seemed to be the end of the path a handful of times, only to look up further and see the faint shape of a new one opening up in front of me.
Every time I would think, “This is it, maybe I should turn around” the path would take a slight turn, and I would follow it, putting one foot in front of the other, until finally, I decided it was time to turn around and go back.
After this happened a few times, I had to pause and think about it.
How often have I found myself just putting one foot in front of the other without having a clear picture of where life was taking me? Surrendering to the path under my feet has been a lifelong lesson.
Have you ever been there? Do you remember how you felt?
Did you question yourself? Were you haunted by self-doubt?
Or, were you able to accept where you were and open up to possibilities?
Since we live in a world that values achievement and promotes having a clear destination and goals, we often doubt our life’s path when it asks us to surrender and go through the doors that open instead of kicking down the door we thought should have opened for us.
What if we stopped and took in the landscape of our lives?
What if we looked back and acknowledged the times when we thought we were lost, only to find ourselves on a new path that took us exactly where we were supposed to be?
What if we looked at where we stand and appreciated the ground that supports us even though the path ahead may still be unclear?
Sometimes, when we feel uncertain, the right question to ask is a simple one, like … “What is asked of me right now?” Then, we do that and go on to the next thing and the next until the path ahead opens up, and we can see where we are heading.
Wouldn’t that be an act of kindness towards ourselves?