New Paths to

There is a wonderful little park not far 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.

Unseen Volunteers

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 wasn’t imprinted in the earth. Once the volunteers did their work, (and I never saw nor heard them) the old path was cleared and walking was easy again.

Making the Best of a New Way

In the spring of 2016, a huge tree split and fell across the 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 was carved around the tree and back onto the established path. We made the best of the problem and created a new way. That new way carried its own delights and surprises. For instance, little wild flowers sprang up in the area we can no longer walk on. It’s really quite lovely. The dogs like all the new areas to sniff out and well, you know, do their dog marking thing.

Paving a New Path

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. Creatures of habit, we get used to things being the same. The way we behave and relate is very comfortable and reassuring. But inevitably, life can come crashing in on us. Sometimes we can fix whatever has gone awry. Part of the fix is having the opportunity to look at problems or obstacles from a new perspective. Walkers got to climb and wind around obstacles before the first bunch of trees were cleared away by the volunteers.

Then again there are times when no matter how hard we try to make something happen, it can’t be fixed. We have to accept the condition just as it is. Still, 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 like your best friend moving away or a steady job being lost. There are equally challenging path changers like 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!! Challenges can force us to accept what is and then remind ourself we can handle together whatever comes along.

Eventually,  life hands us lots of challenges. But it also hands us blessings we didn’t know were coming, and opportunities we can either take or leave. Some will pull 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 Will Figure It Out

But we have what it takes to figure it out. There is a spirit of love within us. It’s the same spirit that drew you and your partner together. Even though we might not be aware of who or what is helping us, a new path will be revealed. Like my unseen hiking buddies who helped make the new path, there are energies who go invisibly before us to help make our way. Our job is to just keep moving forward. Not give up because the path isn’t immediately clear or the people we wished would help us don’t or can’t.

You Have Each Other and Invisible Helpers

When you are married you are not alone. You have each other to help you through the changes life brings. You can encourage each other to trust the spirit within to inspire you, give you ideas and impulses that lead you in new directions and develop new skills. Even in the times you just can’t be there for one another, the spiritual energies are still available to help you. Our 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 AND you will understand which way to go – together.