Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fresh Trails

Sacramento River Trail
I love new trails! The operative word here is new. The first time I see someplace, the first time I walk or ride a trail, the first time I come around a bend and the road opens up before me is akin to magic. After that, I may become fond of the place. I may revisit the trail. But I will always want to experience it just a bit differently each time.

For me, it's about fresh horizons--seeing something I have never seen before. I've often wondered what it must have been like for mountain men like Jim Bridger and Kit Carson, or even Lewis and Clark, to go where no other save First Nations had ever gone--coming over a peak to see a mountain valley spreading out below them and to know that with their own eyes, they are gazing into timelessness. Had I gone west with the wagon trains, I would have been a scout, because they went ahead, scoped out the land, and came back to give a report.

This is not to say I thrive on danger or living on the edge of safety. I don't. Nor is this urge based on competition--I don't have to be the only one who sees it. I just want to explore, to drink in all the newness on my own, not second-hand. I want to take the journey myself, in my own way, at my own pace.

As a child, I yearned to explore the unexplored--a desert island no one knew about; a mountain valley undiscovered from the dawn of time; a cave; a ghost town; an undersea world, and I lamented that even then, there were no unknown places in my country.

I lamented because I did not know that there were whole realms that no one had broken into yet. But as I have lived my life, I have come to the great and freeing truth that all that is known is but a tiny fraction of the world in which we live. There are realms of relationship with God, with people, with myself, with all of creation, that I could explore for the rest of my life and never travel the same trail twice. Wow!

So while I may have missed my chance to be a mountain woman or a wagon train scout,  I can't tell you how exciting it is to know that I need never be confined to the known. I can go as deep, as far, as high as I am able--forge through mountains, cross rivers, swim oceans--and return to tell other journeyers that just around the corner are treasures for the seeking, horizons to be gazed on, and worlds to be explored.