I’ve always enjoyed getting lost in the woods. From fishing with my father when I was little to sneaking off with a date as I got older to taking a break from life and work and school when the responsibilities became too much, a walk through the local park has always been a part of me. However, the term ‘walk’ is misleading in the context of, well, me.
I cannot stand those wide paved paths that most people use in parks. They’re so… Prescriptive, and frankly, quite boring. I usually find myself seeking out a small opening in the trees with something that looks like a trail. Sometimes it’s man-made. Other times, I’ve stumbled upon a deer path. Whichever type it happens to be, it’s almost guaranteed to be thin, made of dirt, hiding rocks and tree roots, and grown over in places with high grasses or thorn bushes. Oh, and it’s not flat by any stretch of the imagination. In other words, it’s a challenge, and it offers more chance to break a sweat, think creatively, and feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins than asphalt next to a road.
What I’ve realized about life lately is that, for quite some time now, I’ve been walking on that paved path, the one that everyone walks down, that has only fleeting glimpses of the gorgeous waterfall hidden behind a copse and barely increases my heart rate. Why would I allow myself to do this, knowing full well that’s not who I am? And suddenly, I know why I’ve been feeling so down. I’m bored. I’m tired of looking at that stupid white or green dotted line down the middle of dark gray asphalt, endlessly repeating for miles and miles and miles. Country singers need back roads, Billy Joel needs the Hudson River. I need that tiny little dirt path that no one else really dares to follow.
Bring it on.