Posted by: R M White | 09/10/2009

Paths …

Paths – Are Yours In Order?

A while back- like in the spring when the rains around here were a daily thing – I created a little path for myself and my dogs so we’d not keep stepping in the mud. Did I say this had been a very rainy spring hereabouts? I was prompted to build the little path out of frustration; I was annoyed at always stepping in the mud.

I did it all by myself – quickly and easily using what I had on hand – I took care of the problem! I put the path down using handcrafted stepping stones and river rock. It was really fun getting it all together and laying the pieces just so. I looked at the finished product and said “this is good.”

Ahhh, victory of a simple accomplishment!

Well, months went by. The dogs and I used this path and it served its purpose – kept our feet out the mud – for a while. Problems arose, though, as we headed into warmer weather – the wash off from the hill was beginning to cover my stones; it was getting sloppy, you see, I hadn’t really taken care of why there was a problem to begin with. Furthermore, weeds were coming up in between the stones and actually displacing some of them. Not just any weed – beautiful wild daisies. To pull or not to pull? Pull! Lovely as they may be, this is not the place for wild daisies! What needed to be done:

  • move all stones,

  • pull weeds,

  • maybe re-route the water in some way and

  • rethink how to lay this path in a better manner, and

  • enlist some help – intellectual and physical.

I debated this being done for days — what I needed was some gumption. It’s so easy just to settle and put up with things, y’know? But, I knew I needed to get this taken care of before more days of consistent rain came our way. And so, with determination, a little planning, some time, and cooperation from my son … WE did it. I was happy with our new path. Our feet will stay out the mud. This time around,

  • we planned a little better by considering  the whole picture, and

  • conferred with my brother-in-law, who knew the run-off patterns

  • we still incorporated the river rock and stepping stones but

  • we dug a little ditch

  • we also shifted the location by 2 feet which will make a huge difference, but … a biggie here,

  • we changed the foundation of the path by adding some mulch which not only cushioned one’s steps but provided absorbancey in the rain.

This little experience got me thinking …

We set our lives on paths – we design a path to get from point A to point B. Sometimes we start this path because of frustration or annoyance at where we are. We prepare, we lay down a foundation, make the way attractive, and then begin to travel … maybe to a new place or could be in a more comfortable way. I believe many times we forget to ‘chart our course’, or keep our paths in good shape. We just charge forward in a burst of good will and eagerness but … then it all goes a little haywire … we neglect clearing obstacles out the way. We let daisies grow up (distractions) and although they may seem pretty at the time, they displace the original groundwork we laid. Sometimes the weather (life) just doesn’t cooperate. Storms and upheaval cause our path to get a little washed out, and the way gets muddy and slippery. Yikes, look out before you fall!

However, does this mean that the way can no longer be maneuverable? Does it mean we must change directions? Do we forget that destination and start from scratch with a new goal in mind?

Taking stock of a path that’s been messed up calls for a time of reflection. We look at what we had, what went wrong, and either we do decide to totally move to a different path OR we rebuild, maybe re-shifting a little and just go at it again. Do we insist on doing it ‘all by myself’ and going it alone? OR do we seek not only the advice from others, but maybe a helping hand? Let’s take time to consider, seek some help.

It’s all about choices and following through.

Whatever path you’re on … determine to pay attention to maintenance. Clean up as you go. As much as possible, be aware of what’s coming and prepare …and you and I, we may be doing the walking but we need to always welcome a little help from friends and family.

Here’s a picture of the little path in this morning’s rain … still functioning beautifully.


Thanks Ray and Jacob – I couldn’t have done it without you. 🙂

************************

II Samuel 22: 37 and Psalm 18: 36 both say:

You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.

Psalm 16: 11

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

Proverbs 23: 19

Listen, my son, and be wise,
and keep your heart on the right path.

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