Monday, August 8, 2011

"The road goes ever on and on..."

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

J. R. R. Tolkien

There is something about a path winding its way beyond the horizon that is irresistible to me. It does not matter where the path is, I always want to follow it. It might wind along a coastline with waves crashing against sandy beaches. The path may be shrouded by tall trees with heavy boughs. It may run straight through a field of wild flowers. Wherever the path is, it beckons my feet to follow it. I want to know where it goes even if it is only the other side of the mountain.

There is something about a path that allows me to think things over. While my feet wander along, my ears hear the sound of birds and the rustle of grass, and my eyes eagerly search for new things to see; I can think. My problems seem less important, somehow removed from me. I can ponder the questions that I do not have time to think about on a normal stress filled day. I feel a little bit sad when I reach the end of a path or have to turn around to go back. As I head away from the adventure bit by bit every day concerns settle back on my shoulders, like a pack that I always carry with me.

I love looking at pictures of paths. When I see them I want to know where they go. I imagine what is around the bend as the path curves off the side of a picture. A path stretching before me, represents freedom. Freedom from the normalcy of the regular day. Adventure. Discovery. Peace. This is what I find as I follow a dirt track through a forest or a rocky trail up a mountain. I hope you too can discover the joy of a path pulling you to discover new things.


  1. And as I see your life I am excited to see the path in your life and to see where it will lead.

  2. Thank you.It should be a grand adventure and may it lead me past you many times.

  3. Two things came to mind as I read this.
    1. On my birthday, I went out in the late afternoon and followed a path near San Cristobal. I reached the half an hour point and I just couldn't turn back, I had to see what was around the corner. After all, it WAS my birthday,so I continued on. I reached the 40 minute point and was walking on a lovely path thru a meadow with a rainbow off to my right and a light mist in my face. But I couldn't give up and had to keep on going to see where the trail led. Eventually at the 46 minute point I had to turn around and return even without seeing the river that I think the trail went to.
    2. I came across this quote this morning. I was thinking of our hikes up San Felipe and how we suffered on the trail at different points, but now we look back on it with happiness.
    "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." - G. K. Chesterton

  4. The story is told of how Dad and Mom drove down a dirt track in the mountains because Dad wanted to see where it went. They drove clear to the end of the road, but there was no room to turn around. So Dad had to back up all the way. Roads are like that. They call to us to see what is around the bend. I think life is like that too. We want to see what will happen tomorrow. Will it be better than today? Hope. The great hope is the anticipation of heaven. We don't know what it'll be like so we keep going, knowing that it has to be better; and anticipating the joy that we will find in Jesus. --Mom

  5. Dad, I love that quote. Working wilderness and various other times on camping trips when the weather turned bad or something difficult happened that made us all miserable I would tell everybody, just think about the stories. When you get home you can tell everyone how you canoed all day in the rain and your canoe tipped over and we ate chunky pasta because it got wet. And then when your audience expresses sympathy you say, it really wasn't so bad. Then everyone thinks you are amazing and really hard core. It is those moments in life where stories come from.
    Mom, I like that story about your dad and mom. Roads are like that they are mundane, yet mystical and inticing.