I went hiking today along a trail that runs through a state park to the sea. It’s not a long walk, maybe an hour each way, but I took my time. I wasn’t there for the exercise. I was there for the view.
The main trail was closed due to damage from the storm, so I took the access road, as suggested by the signs. It took me high over the hills to the northern end of a quiet beach, but it didn’t take me right down to the sand. It ended at a chain link fence and a rusted out car buried deep in the scrub.
I was disappointed, sure, but I’d seen so many wonderful things already. I’d seen waterfalls and gullies, lagoons and vine-twisted trees. I’d seen huge flocks of willy wag tails and I’d seen the sea, even if I couldn’t touch it. So I started back up the path.
Maybe I wasn’t paying attention the first time. Maybe I didn’t bother looking, so sure of the path I was on. But on my way back up the hill I found them, three or four tiny twisted paths leading down toward the sand.
I almost missed the narrow path in favour of the well-trod one. I almost missed what I’d come to see.
There are wonders along the wide path also, distractions and small moments of beauty. And the narrow path isn’t always easy. It’s muddy and twisted and the scrub crowds In to snag you. But looking back on my life I realise it was when I was walking on the narrow path that I was most truly happy. It was on the narrow path that I became (am becoming) the person I was meant to be.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” — E. E. Cummings.