Monday, January 9, 2012

Unmarked Path

I wouldn't say that we were LOST, exactly, 
but things did not look familiar.  

As a kid, I used to ride this path on my bike all the time.
Like breathing, I did it without thinking.
But, things looked different now.
And, we carried with us our over-thinking, adult minds.

My friend, who had never been on this path before, was the first to speak up.   

      "I don't think we are going the right way," he said. 

      "This path only GOES one way," I assured him.    

But, as we approached a fork in the trail,
     it was clear to us both that the path went in MORE than one direction.    
We agreed to take the path on the left (my dog, Charlie, following behind),
which seemed to be the right choice, until it appeared
that the path was leading us right into the middle of SUBURBIA.     

Suddenly, we were surrounded by TOWNHOUSES.

     "NOW, what?" I spoke through my laughter.  

We asked a passersby if the path reconnected somewhere else.

     "Walk to the top of the hill, pass the elementary school on your left,
          go down the hill, and you will see an opening
        where there is a continuation of the path," he assured us.

This was definitely NOT how I remembered 
this trail. 

We continued to the TOP of the hill, PASSED the elementary school,
walked DOWN the hill,
until we, INDEED, discovered a path.   

It seemed a little odd, however, that the path was not marked . . . but we decided to follow it, anyways.

As we walked along the backside of some houses,
     past a children's playground, and into the woods,
the path became increasingly narrow,
until there was NO EXISTING PATH LEFT, AT ALL.
And, eventually, we found ourselves standing on a hillside,
     enveloped by nothing but trees, as far as the eyes could see.  

Looking up, we could identify the chain link fence
     that lined the entire park property.

Looking down, we could see the creek that flowed into the lake,
     where our journey had begun.

Using both as our trail markers, we continued to walk along -
     now dense, into the forest, stepping over and under, and in between branches,
when suddenly, we found ourselves impinging upon a group of grazing deer.

Clearly startled by the sight of humans, 
I couldn't help but laugh at their expressions. 

Deer:  Stupid humans.

After giving us a good stare down, the deer quickly moved on,
     in search of a more private party. 
In the meantime, we found a break in the fence from a fallen tree,
     where we decided to cross over,
discovering more SUBURBIA on the other side.
We walked along a row of houses, until the road came to an end,
     along with a sign that read:

For residence use only. 
This is not a park entrance.

Which, of course, meant:

This is a park entrance
that only residents are supposed to use,
except in rare cases when dumb asses 
take a wrong turn and get lost.     

My friend decided to go straight up the hill, pulling Charlie behind,
      BOTH on all fours,  using random branches and weeds to help pull their way up.
I, on the other hand, looked over to the left, and saw a long,
     gradual path leading up the side of the hill,
and decided that was the more appealing route.

We met at the top of the hill 
and dusted ourselves off,
then, merged in with the other walkers, bikers, and joggers along the path,
as if we had never been off course.

No, I wouldn't say that we were lost, exactly.

We just took the path less traveled (for a little while),
     and turned a normal afternoon into an adventure.



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