Saturday, November 22, 2008

Going off the Map

This week, I found a new way to get from my house to Brodie Lane. That may not sound all that exciting, but here's the thing: I've been in this house coming up on 5 years, and all that time I thought there were only two ways to get to Brodie. Just accepted it without question, really. An assumption I had made for no reason other than the fact that the two ways I knew about were pretty obvious, and I guess I figured if there were a third way, it would be obvious too.

But one day this week for some reason I'm still unclear about, I decided to tool around my neighborhood for a bit on my way back home from some function I attended. Just felt like exploring, maybe. But to my shock, I found a street I didn't know existed that meandered its way through the back of my neighborhood and linked into the neighboring subdivision, which then carried on all the way to Brodie. Eureka! Why had none of the maps shown this, I wondered?

Okay, so finding the new route was cool; but then I found something even better. A huge stretch of the land adjacent to this previously unknown street was wild and open...a wide swath of live oaks and mesquite that trailed along the banks of the creek that winded its way to the east. At several points along this route, I noticed trails launching off into the trees; I couldn't tell where or how far they traveled beyond my view.

Well, naturally, I had to run those trails immediately. Well, nearly immediately. I ran them this afternoon. Took right off from my front door, jogged down to the street I never knew was there, then off that street onto a trail system I had no idea existed so close to my home. Five years I've been here...who knew?

It was glorious. One trail branched to two, and then to three and then four. It tracked alongside the creek, down gullies and over rocky slopes. I spooked at least eight or nine deer as I followed along, excited to see where the trail would lead me next. It trailed along fence lines and headed north, then east under a major road I drive most every day (right under my nose!), then a bit south again until I found myself wondering if the trail might actually stretch all the way to the huge park where I usually go run (I drive there...' least I did 'till now). I finally hit an impass at the railroad tracks. The trail just seems to end abruptly in a clump of brush and trees. I think there may be a way through, but it was getting dark and I decided to head back for now and return when the light is better.

I ran for over an hour, and still I didn't cover all the trails I saw. I can't wait to go back and explore the rest...and maybe, find a way through to the park. Just goes to show--you never know what serendipities await you if you'll just break out of the routine and go off the map now and then. Not every path to life is obvious; really, the best ones rarely are.


deepwaterscoach said...

What a beautiful reminder for us to take the long way home, the road less traveled. What richness life can bring when we choose to go beyond our comfort zone! I'm inspired to do the same!

Kaylee said...

Sometimes getting lost is the best way to get found! Way to go at exploring and trusting you'll know the way back home. Hmmm... could there be a faith metaphor in that? :0)