I’ve been trekking over a small ridge along the spine of campus to get to the running trail that heads into the town. But today, I took a left turn onto the rest of the mountain trail.
The wooded path freckled in the morning sun, and a warming breeze floated through the tunnel of trees. Every time I take a new path, I have that same thrilling sense you get when you play Hide N Seek, when you can’t stand the excruciating anticipation of being found, but then you get kind of worried that they won’t find you and you’ll spend the night stowed up in a tree because no one told you the game was over.
Which is to say: I sometimes feel like I’m going where I don’t belong, where I shouldn’t go. That I’ll get lost or turned around or that the path will be far longer than I expected and I’ll keep looping around in a crazy whirl of trees. But:
I take new paths anyway.
Taking new paths helps me to conquer irrational fears and gives me a fresh way of looking at my new surroundings. I learn about myself and the landscape.
Today, I took Tiger Trail, a looping, long trail full of inclines and switchbacks. I crossed a rickety old wooden bridge and came upon the remains of an ancient stone building. I’m not naive enough to image Rome, Georgia has a history as long as ancient Rome. But there was something provincial and nostalgic about the skeleton walls crumbling into the earth. I could see where a fireplace had risen into the sky, where a basement had slashed into the ground.
I don’t know what kind of building it was, or what purpose it could have served. There was nothing else in the area, no remnants of anything else; no buildings, no roads, no nothing. I like to imagine what purpose that building could possibly have served. But seeing it piqued my interest, and added just a touch of interest to my morning walk.
What new roads are you taking today?