“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.” – Antonio Machado
The roads we travel are usually made for us. Roads can help us get from one place to another quickly, but they often don’t ask much of us. An experienced driver in a familiar context can drive on “autopilot” for hours, arriving at their destination realizing they have no memory of how they got there.
Sometimes there are no roads to the place we want to go. We have to cut across the land or through the bush, finding our way as we go. Depending on the terrain, this kind of navigating can be inefficient and dangerous. Such is the price for going somewhere new (and perhaps making it easier for someone coming behind us), and the rewards can make the effort worth it.
The search for purpose and meaning sometimes requires us to head off the well-travelled road – even if only for a short distance. If the path we’re on is not getting us to the destination we seek, a diversion toward the inefficient and dangerous may be required. Wrong turns may be taken. Doubling back may be required. Every work of art, every scientific formula, every business, every not-for-profit, every religion started because someone, somewhere, took a risk and diverted from the path they were on.
When heading off the beaten path, it helps to have companions. People who help you find your way, or who you know are cheering you on, hoping you make it. This is the 15th post to this blog, the beginning of week three. Thank you for subscribing, for encouraging, for critiquing, for engaging. Making the path by walking is not always neat and tidy or smooth, but sometimes it’s the only way to get where we want to go.
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