The Road Less Travelled
The morning had started out slow and warm, and the mundane everyday chores seemed to be overriding my plans for the morning, which was to gather my two steeds and mosey on down the mountain for some exercise and time out. However, as the day grew long and the clouds moved in on the wings of a warm breeze, the horses became further out of reach…so the dogs and I went for a long slow walk…very slow, camera in hand and perception wide open…
What jumped out at me most blatantly to start, and throughout the walk, was the road. This is a very lightly traveled ‘trail’ through the jungle that leads to and away from our current abode. Horses travel this road, but only our vehicle drives on it and that is seldom. The life of the road was speaking loudly to me…in front of me a bend in the road that doesn’t allow me to see beyond it, yet I think I know where it is going because I have been that way many times before. As I walked on down and around the bend I noticed the ‘other’ highway…much smaller, but nevertheless a highway that was VERY heavily travelled on our simple road of less wear, the leaf-cutter ants’ highway. Heavily congested, there were four lanes, two lanes of ants with neatly and uniformly cut plant parts heading back to the fungus factory, and two lanes of ants heading out for the next load. I had to stop and watch for a while, it was absolutely amazing to see the devotion and obligation that these ants have in their reality, their ‘job’ requirements innate in their tiny little beings, as they mindlessly attend to their duties day in and day out, all day long, all week long, until they die and become sustenance for something else along the way. Their highway was clean and devoid of obstacles, the dirt smooth from the traffic. I followed them to their factory…wow! This was a huge colony with several entryways, I watched them going in and out, here and there, delivering their wares. There were large entryways and smaller, all lined up like condos, some even on the ‘second floor’! The order and functionality of the job…such a busy site! The ants were instruments of a larger plan, order, doing what their programming dictated for them to do. I moved along the road, observing yet another highway of ants, to another factory in a different direction. Their road was at least three inches plus in width! There was no missing it, these critters are in business and biz is good! They have no plans, only their pre-programmed agenda; I have no idea what their range of ‘choice’ in the matter is, they just keep on keepin’ on with the program downloaded into their DNA.
The dogs were running and diving into the jungle on either side of the road, sniffing and searching for whatever might be hiding in the brush: birds, lizards, snakes – anything that will startle and move quickly is a target for them. Bursting out of the brush and leaping out onto the road off of the high sided ditch, ah the joy of being a dog! Running and playing with wild abandon, not a care in the world, living totally in each moment. A good lesson for each of us to witness and appreciate, perhaps we may even take the hint and adopt more play and fun into our own lives, yeah?
The dogs and I proceeded to travel slowly along our remote road, seeking any wonders that we might find along the way, pausing to watch and carefully observe. When you really slow down and pay attention to each step, looking all around you and actually ‘seeing’ what is there, listening to the sounds of your surroundings, another world opens up. It is so much more likely that you will see or hear things that you never knew were there before (but they were), or perhaps insights and ideas will become available or clear that didn’t have the opportunity to escape the idea factory of your mind while you are ‘busy doing other things’ (thank you John). Perception portal open… I continued to observe the road…and continue my wandering very slowly.
Yes, the Road. The road that we are walking along in our daily lives has definitely taken on a different ‘hue’, if you will. After all of the anticipation and waiting leading up to the ‘great time of transition’ that is now behind us, the road ahead looks different, but we cannot yet put our finger on it. It seems that this past month has been a whirlwind of old paradigm ‘stuff’ coming forth and providing the perfect petri dish atmosphere for stress and release, or retrospect, or perhaps you could call it ‘transition overwhelm’. Although the details and circumstances of anyone’s world are unique, and how it is dealt with is individual, it appears that most everyone has had ‘something’ on their plate recently that demanded to be dealt with, in some way or other. For us it was creating the opportunity of walking through a new door…watching for the green light and/or the neon ‘Enter’ sign, leading us into our new life. We did find the door and walk through it, and we are very slowly digesting the immense impact that this choice will have on our lives, so that we may choose wisely and step carefully, in full awareness of as many details as possible. Of course we know that it is impossible to know all things beforehand, as we each have free will and each ‘player’ in this particular ‘game’ has their own input into any brew we are making together, but it is imperative to take the time – slowdown in our ‘need to get there’ – so that we will know exactly what we are putting into that brew, step by step.
The time is now to shed all of the remaining ‘old stuff’ so that our minds and spirits will be free and unencumbered to make clear choices along the road ahead of us. Obviously quite different from the routine programmed lives of the leaf cutter ants, always the ‘comfort zone’ of the familiar routine, automatic pilot…however, we can interpret our current situation and turn off the ‘automatic pilot’ by considering our options, making a choice and we can even change our minds if we like! As I was walking along our road heading back up the hill still slowly and deliberately, I saw the fork in the road:
as I pursued it I could see at the end of itpening, a small dark portal that leads…wwhere? The unknown, the unfamiliar, not
Never-the- less it is a doorway to the ‘next place’. Where does it go? What will it be like? What is it that we truly want for ourselves and in our lives now as the ‘new’ – do we even know? It is absolutely imperative that we are specific for what we ask, as sure and by golly we will get it. There is always choice, however, so that at any crossroad we may choose, and if need be we may choose again, until we reach that point of knowing that we have arrived. Taking each moment one at a time, very slowly and deliberately, always take the moment or moments needed to consider your feelings about each and every option that applies…key.
Not long ago when our world shifted and it became necessary to stop and look in another direction, it was adamant to ask ourselves what it is that we truly want, as the idea of being at this particular crossroad again soon is not a welcome thought. We knew that we had better be clear about what we were looking to step into as the next leg of our Life Journey, perhaps the rest of our lives. Here we are at the fork in the road: do we choose the familiar and comfortable road back to the same old life? Or will it be an unknown road into a very different world? No fears or regrets allowed. We have made this leap before, it isn’t the first time, and something tells me it won’t be the last.
The fork is there for each and every one of us, it will show up in your world when you least expect it, most likely sooner rather than later…stay in the comfort zone of ‘automatic pilot’ , the familiar road that is well defined? Or something different: the road less travelled – the choice is yours.