Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Path

On a walk yesterday I spied a path I'd never noticed before. I followed the trail, let it take me across a bridge, past clumps of skunk cabbage and a forest floor carpeted with violets and spring beauties.
As I walked I wondered what it is about paths that so appeal to me? "There is a pleasure in the pathless woods," the poet Byron wrote. "There is a rapture on the lonely shore." Though I, too, love the wilderness, I also love the sight of a beaten dirt track curving around a bend. Do all humans share a hard-wired appreciation for this parting in the forest, for this passage through the briars? Or am I the only one? To me a path is proof that others have gone before us, that there is a way through this tangled treescape, which, lovely though it may be, is still not our home, our yard, our world.


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