In my garden, there are two kinds of paths – not the natural vs. paved, but the old vs. the new. The new path is above. Jim has stepped aside to admire his work. The path will provide a way for the lawn mower to be driven through the gate behind him and onto the back lawn. For that, we need something that also can be walked on, so that plants living in that area can be tended. So for all purposes, the new path, made up of fabric with a mulch covering, is a maintenance road. And all of this for a small area!
Now we can turn to our old path. Each spring, it seems that it is buried further and further underneath sod and what I call “duff.” It isn’t that hard to uncover the old weathered bricks, but they are muddy and dirty and it is a messy job. The stuff pulled goes in the mulch bin to prevent weeds from growing back. The path will look better once it dries and the mud is blown off. The pond also benefits from this grooming, as the plants will have less weeds to deal with, and you can walk closer to the edge to see the fish.
Both of these paths are meaningful and serve their purpose.
But what about straying off the path as in life?
My thought on that is that it’s perfectly okay to stray off the beaten path, and it is perfectly okay to forge a new path. Without being able to safely utilize both ideals, life would be utterly boring. The new path is a fresh clean slate, waiting to be filled with warm dark coverings, or cold wet washings.
Old paths, though, are simply grown over and need to be traversed now and then to keep their definition in the landscape of experience. Once trodden, they are easy to access and keep trying to change despite our efforts to uncover their secrets if only once in a while.
So spring brings with it thoughts of how we walk our safe lines yet hope to change our direction by trying a new road.
So will my summer go, as I work to keep the old path clear and easy while striving to travel in new directions, if only in a small space.