Well-worn Paths

     I didn’t want to go for my walk when I got up today. After a wonderful and exhausting reunion last night, I just wanted to stay in my PJs, curled up in bed with a cup of coffee the size of New Hampshire while I ogle pictures of Jason Momoa on my laptop. I didn’t feel like getting dressed, putting on shoes, preparing a water bottle – but I did.

     I spent the past few days obsessing over the reunion: who would be there; would I make a fool of myself; would I stand alone in a corner, watching everyone laughing and wishing I was bold enough to go up to them and eek out a hello? I had to make a concerted effort to remind myself that I may not be slender and beautiful, but I am the best damn me in the world.

     All the relived high-school anxiety was for naught – I had a wonderful time and forged new connections with people I’ve known for years. It was glorious, but now it’s time to retrain my focus back to my work. So I hopped in the car and drove to the park, hoping that even if I didn’t want to walk, the exercise would help me clear my thoughts and get back to my writing.

     My spirits lifted almost immediately – the sun had come out and it was warming up some. Half-way around the trail I realized the uphill parts were not as daunting as they used to be – testament to the walks working to improve my health. I took a moment to pause by a memorial to a fallen Marine. I smiled as I passed a father inching along the path with a toddler who wanted to examine every blade of grass.

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     I was on my third round through the park when I saw it – a painted stone propped at the base of a tree. How long had it been here? This was the third time today I’d passed it and just now noticed it – how long was it here before today? Who else has seen it? Did they pick it up or just leave it?

     Curiosity getting the better of me, I picked it up and turned it over. I couldn’t help but smile.

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     I placed the stone in a new location – still in the park and still at a place where it can be noticed – waiting to bring a new little thrill to someone else.  I couldn’t help but think of a line from Thelios:

“You can always find something new, even on well-worn paths.”

     Life – both the good and the bad – can leave me feeling well-worn. But there is always something new out there to experience. It’s up to me to go out and find it.

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