Last week, on a whim, my husband and I decided to take the path less traveled , and transversed the open fields surrounding Maclean pond in Langley. We decided that a new type of experiencing nature would be worthy of an adventure. Typically accustomed to my routine walks in my neighbourhood, this stood in direct contrast to my every day familiar parade of black topped concrete travels. Upon arrival, seeing that there was no manicured pathway, clear passage or advanced determined walkway, I realized that this encounter caused some internal resistance in me.

This got me thinking…how often do I stick to the local road, my usual routine or status quo in my life, afraid to take a chance and a leap of faith? Alternatively, how often do I push myself to really live my life and let go of my comfort zone, to try something new? The result of letting go on this occasion was the discovery of lush trees and natural woods, unfettered by the typical weekend warrior stomping grown and conventional foot traffic.

Additional benefits of taking the path less traveled, in my humble opinion, include:

-opening to new experiences and journeys, to be savored and enjoyed
-creating the freedom to explore new territory – after all, who knows where your sense of adventure will take you
-be daring, thus creating opportunities to travel into unchartered territory
-leading to a surprise, with no expectations or ideas of how things should turn out – a sought after opportunity to be childlike in our explorations and nurture curiosity in the hopes of stumbling upon the wonders of nature and our world
-a chance to get better at making choices, to entertain our intuition or second natured instinct, by listening to our gut and following our awakened senses – for me, listening to ducks in the distance led me in the direction of a beautiful, serene man made lake – nature at its best
– a chance to test out my sense of direction, in forging my own pathways and engendering leadership in my journey
-allowing the brain the freedom to relax and dream, allowing things to unfold naturally as they should and enjoying the magic of the moment, observing the small details of the flowers that grew up amongst the grass
– no limits, no boundaries, no rules – my dog loved the freedom of being off leash, with no restrictions on our wandering expedition
-nurture self reliance and independence

Going off the beaten track made me think of my life, with my conceived illusion of control, and how I get to thinking I can plan for my future and pretend I know how things will turn out – when the reality is that life is a unpredictable, and far from tame, and often a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. In the quiet, I can choose to get out of the way, open my mind, let go to resistance of what is. Without a road map, we can only point ourselves in the right direction, and occasionally, when prompted, take appropriate risks. Observe all that is around you, look at the scenery and in getting a taste of the wild landscape, it presents a more authentic travel experience. See where life takes you.

This experience reminded me of a poem by Robert Frost, called “The Road Not Taken.” I thought I’d share it as it sums up my experience in a subtle, poignant way.

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

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