Nature is a good, good place to generate lots and lots of thoughts (like I need any help with that), and while hiking this weekend, I became deep in thought, which in turn, generated the following post.
The hiking path, much like life, is most of the time a small, narrow path that can only be walked alone. Side by side hiking just can’t happen on the bulk of the trail; there simply isn’t enough room. At times, the path does widen, and for a moment, you can walk together. I started thinking how much this reflects the course of life in general. Most of the time, we walk alone, we fight the battle alone. We stare at the long path ahead and wonder when it will change. And then, seemingly at just the time when it’s most needed, the path widens and there is someone by our side.
The characteristics of the trails are different, too. The wide path is open and spacious and the narrow path is tough and gritty. The narrow path is leads us uphill, where roots and broken sticks cross our path and challenge us. The narrow path is a struggle; we have to fight to get through it, and there can be no one by our side. When we come to the wide part of the path, it’s like a reward for hard work well done. It’s welcoming, clear of debris and easy to walk. We are grateful for it because it is a relief from the loneliness of the narrow path.
This symmetry of the hiking path is how we live life. Most of our lives are a battle on the narrow path, and the battles are usually something we have to face alone; not because no one will be there for us, but because they are battles which we must win on our own. I think most of the narrow path is our internal struggle, which is why we can only walk it alone. On the narrow path, you can only depend on yourself. You face the solitude and silence of your own mind. The path is long, and the choice to turn back just doesn’t exist; you have to keep going, even though you’re sweating and tired. Many times you may look back, and want to just give up… and at just this moment, this moment when you feel that you just can’t do it anymore, when you’re about to give up, the path widens, and something or someone steps besides us and pushes us forward.
(Yes, I am funny AND introspective. I’ve got many layers, friends)