I heard a story about a college campus that didn’t initially put any sidewalks in but instead waited a year to see where the students would naturally walk. Once these routes were worn into the grass, the university then installed sidewalks on top of them. This way, the sidewalks would actually be used and fit the natural movements of those on campus.
I like this story because it causes me to think about two important aspects about journeying through life.
1. We can design the most beautiful and intricate paths on paper or in our heads, but they will lack any practical function if they don’t fit our natural rhythms in the world.
2. We cannot directly copy anyone else’s path because their paths are a reflection of their own journey and environment—not our own. Authentic paths aren’t designed; they are made by walking.
Are you trying to traverse along someone else’s path? What are the natural rhythms of movement in your own life and environment? Where do you need to walk but haven’t yet?
All well-established roads through life were once small footpaths created by people like you and me. Your path might seem small and weak, but it will grow if you continue walking on it. It will also grow as you welcome others to join and walk with you.
Fellow pilgrims: May you freely make your own path and follow the movements of your own life. May your walking create paths that you can continue to use throughout your life. May you be courageous and invite others to walk with you and create new paths together. May you also join others on their paths and walk with them. We make the road by walking.
Photo credit: Lance Baker [Loc] Hai Van Pass in Vietnam