A few years ago, the trail provided me with an unusual sign and I recall the moment seeing it as if it was yesterday. Perplexed at it’s sight, we laughed and wondered about it’s intention of being there. Was it meant for navigation or did it hold a different message all together. Perhaps the trail would be less challenging going the other direction, who knew. We never found out and to determine the meaning and our own evaluation, it would have required us to hike both sides of the trail. We never did and turned away from the easier direction to tackle the tougher way. Today, my inquisitive mind would probably question why we choose the harder route and didn’t give in to the easier route, but then again, some questions are not meant to be answered. Metaphorically it spoke to me on different terms and had little to do with the trail itself. It was about life and brought a message that made me pause and reevaluate the path I was going on. Many years after seeing the sign, I still remember it from time to time whenever I feel to need to reevaluate my course. A barrage of questions usually follows as I wonder if I’m still on track. Am I headed in the right direction, am I taking the hard way again and is there truly an easier way to be followed? I’m reminded that life provides us with choices and opportunities that we can keep as simple as we want them to be or complicate them to the point that we feel as if we are drowning. I pay homage and recognize the power of our minds, the ego that can falsify the simplicity of the the easier path to cause us confusion and hardship unless we recognize the process of what is going on.
One of the simplest and least complex examples would be my transition of fading to grey. I remember my first gray hairs, oh no, plucking out each one at the sight of it. Believing it to be a sign of age, (society influenced) I wasn’t ready to enjoy the easier path of just letting them be. As a matter of fact I never saw the easier path and therefore it wasn’t something to consider at the time. In hindsight, I took the harder route and did what was fitting for me at the time, coloring my hair, masking what was, for what….my self esteem, to not be labeled and perceived as old? I would emphasize the reddish tint my hair already naturally held, which also meant more upkeep and red is the hardest color to keep in your hair. On top of it, it would only take one sunny day on the trail without a hat and your color was altered into a totally different red. More ginger like and beautiful if that was what you are going for. If you didn’t care about the deep rich, vibrant hues of your locks fading, lacking the shine they initially had with their healthy appearance, now replaced by a dull, lacking luster kind of red. Both beautiful in their own way, but different from what you might have gone for initially. I wasn’t and it was the deep, rich hues I was after.
I was remembering the sign this morning and it made me think about how the things that once mattered change in our lives over time. Instead of plucking and coloring my hair, each morning is now filled with happy anticipation to discover more new grays. Crazy isn’t it? I have come to enjoy the silver highlights throughout my hair and by naturally lightening the rest, the contrast is not all that stark anymore. I no longer resist what is meant to naturally unfold and I’m good with it. I’m freer because of it as I search to apply this concept to more areas of my life. I feel that there is an easier way to be discovered that starts with reevaluating the tougher things that no longer serve my purpose. The major decisions that have yet to unfold as I stand at the crossroads of choosing my path. I will try hard to find the easier way and explore the path this time around to see what secrets and wonders it might hold for me. I realize that some habits and levels of comfort might be hard to break, but I believe it is only if you stay confined within the very box that traps you in place. Thinking outside the box may be the easier way to a less complicated life and the choice is ours.