(Actual path – picture taken by me)
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.”
— Robert Frost
Yesterday, after a rather frustrating day of work, I decided to go to a nearby lake to relax and rejuvenate. I sat near the water, away from others, and watched the water roll into small, rippling waves. I felt the cool breeze on my face and breathed in the fresh air. Across the street there is a park with a walking path that goes into the woods. When I walk there I typically stay on the paved path, because that is what is set out before me; that is what I know. As I neared the top of the first short hill I found myself at a crossroad, that actually looked more like a piece sign, instead of a “T” or “Y” shape. I looked to my left and there was a shorter paved path that simply looped back to the beginning of the trail, for those who perhaps wanted a quicker loop. Then, to my near right, was a longer paved path which would allow others to keep walking for a bit longer. Finally, to my right, there was a narrow dirt path that led to…Well I don’t know. I often wondered where it went. I decided that I didn’t want to walk the same path I often walk, but to take the new path and explore. So I did.
I began to walk along the dirt path and the first thing I stumbled upon, after going down a small hill, was railroad tracks. This actually reminded me of my childhood when I used to walk along train tracks and think by myself (Yes; even as a child I was pensive). I kept walking onto the trail again and for some reason, being in the middle of the woods, I started getting nervous after hearing rustling sounds and strange noises coming from the trees and the bushes. My thoughts turned to irrational things like being attacked by a wolf or a coyote! All of a sudden I came to a clearing and in someone’s yard a frozen wolf was staring at me! I stopped suddenly (and so did my heart) staring wide eyed back and frozen myself. And then I saw this “scary wolf” was only a yard ornament. Whew! So I started to relax and enjoy my walk full of noises and creatures. I came upon a clearing and saw a couple of bunnies hopping across and one was chasing a bird. I continued to walk on this dirt path, back into the woods until I saw another opening and I realized it was the paved road. Knowing this paved path was less interesting and rather predictable, I decided to turn around and go back the way I came.
The way back on this dirt path was far less scary. I heard the same scary noises and saw the “scary wolf” figurine, but I wasn’t afraid. It turns out the unknown was more fearful in my mind than in reality. Before my walk was over, I paused to watch the flight of a butterfly. It migrated from flower to flower (rather a pretty weed) and flew all around really quickly until it landed on another. I was hypnotized by its bright orange wings and its delicate flight pattern. It was so serene. I finished my walk feeling clear-minded and reflective. I realized I was ready to take a new path, whatever it was and wherever it may lead. I am bored by my routine and safety. Though I may be scared to try something new, I think it will also be beautiful and adventurous along the way. I guess we’ll have to see where this new path will take me, the path less traveled.