There is a wonderful little park not far down the road from my house in Williamsburg. It’s called Deepwater Point. This pine forest makes for a level hiking area which my knees and older dogs appreciate. There’s big roots that jut out along the paths, and lots of big tall pines. After traipsing through the woods, the path opens out onto a nice view of East Bay. When I need to be by the water to hear that lapping sound of the waves on the shore, or see the glitter of the sun on the surface, I’ll take Dutch and Reece there for our daily walk. An added bonus is we are usually the only domesticated animals around so I can let my four-leggeds run safely off leash.
When the storms of August 2015 hit, a large number of the big ol’ pines fell across the pathway. Within a month, volunteers cleared away the big logs so walking on the paths wasn’t so difficult. Just love those volunteers!
Before the path was cleared, those of us who wanted to walk the site made our own paths over stumps and around cracked and shattered branches. Because the repair was fairly quick, a new path hadn’t had time to get walked on and impressed on the earth. Once the volunteers did their work, the old path was cleared and walking was easy again.
Making the Best of a New Way
Several months ago, a huge tree split and fell across this same path. Only this time no volunteers appeared to clear the path. Over time, all of us hikers must have chosen the same new pathway because a route is being carved around the tree and back onto the established path. We have made the best of the new way. Little wild flowers have sprung up in the area we can no longer walk and it’s really quite lovely. The dogs like all the new areas to sniff out and well, you know, do their dog marking thing.
So I was likening the paving of a new path similar to you and your partner making a new life for yourselves as a married couple. Don’t we get used to things being the same? The way we are is very comfortable but inevitably, life brings some pretty stiff winds. Sometimes we can fix whatever went awry. In the process we get to look at things from a new perspective further on down the road, much like we walkers climb and wind around obstacles before the first bunch of trees were cleared away by the volunteers.
Figuring the Way Down the Road As We Go
Then again there are times when something can’t be fixed and a new challenge is before us. We have options. We can complain and resist the change, or we can figure out as we go along how to make our way. Changes can be friends moving or jobs changing, loved ones passing on, bodies getting bigger or smaller, wisdom waning or people we expect to be there for us, NOT being there for us. Or children. Or fur babies taking half our paycheck. I know that one!!
Coincidentally, I thought this TedX talk by Mel Robbins was interesting. It’s about how to stop screwing things up because when we walk down the road we can be so hard on ourself. But this journey is new, so give yourself a break!
Essentially we all find life hands us lots of challenges, blessings we didn’t know were coming, and opportunities we can either take or leave alone. Some will take us off the path we thought we were on and liked, and others will set us in the middle of unfamiliar territory. We may feel lost or challenged more than we think we could bear.
You have what it takes to figure it out. Even though you might not be aware of who or what is helping you, a new path will be revealed…down the road. Like my unseen hiking buddies who helped make the new path, there are energies who go invisibly before us to help make our way. Your job is to just keep moving forward. Not give up because the path isn’t immediately clear or the people you wished would help you don’t or can’t.
When you are married you are not alone. You have each other to help you through the changes life brings. And even in the times you just can’t be there for one another, spiritual energies are still available to help you. Your work is to let go of the path that was and trust the new path will appear. Be willing to risk by taking one step forward. And then another. We don’t have to know the whole path all at once.
But I am sure – you will be shown a new path – you will figure it out – together.
Much love to and through you,