Let Yourself Get Lost
Most mornings I walk in the woods to clear my head, connect with nature, and learn from whatever Nature, who is a great teacher, has to say that day. This grey, fall morning the leaf strewn path was hard to see. This is a natural wood with squirrels, leaf litter, thickets, a stream, moss clinging to trees, and decaying logs everywhere. So, a path is a useful thing. Even though the woods are not that big, it’s easy to get turned around and get lost.
For this reason, I sometimes move fallen branches so that they run parallel with the path to make the path easier to find. When a tree falls overnight, it can make the woods look very different and trick me into thinking that I’ve hit a dead end or made a wrong turn. I can get confused and detour off into the wrong direction.
This morning, I realized that this is what we do, isn’t it? We try to create safety so that we always know where we are, how to get back, and how to move through. We try to make order out of chaos so that things are neat and tidy.
As that thought was digesting in my mind, I saw something big, black and unexpected out of the corner of my eye. Before I could even turn my head to see what it was, fear gripped me and then let go. It was the wheels of my neighbor’s tractor showing through what remained for the leaves! Again, there it was. The desire for predictability and safety.
My mind drifted to all the times I deliberately went off the path. Sometimes the light just looks so inviting that I have to get a closer look at how it streams or see what it’s illuminating. Or sometimes the smell of earth calls to me and I need to investigate holes in trees or the ground. I thought about how, without this diversion, I don’t get to see some of the prettiest views because the path doesn’t meander by there.
So maybe the next time I see a fallen tree, I will leave it there blocking the path. I will let myself get lost. After all being lost only means that I’m exploring new terrain without a goal in mind. That sounds an awful lot like adventure! And what better way to find yourself than on an adventure?