Sunday, March 13, 2011

avoiding puddles

one can approach life in different ways.

there is the attack plan, where one lives large, throwing caution to the wind and jumping into whatever feels right at the time.

then there's a more thoughtful approach, where one looks ahead, determining a path and assessing opportunities and challenges that are likely to present themselves.

one can set goals that grow from minor to ultimate, or one can flow with life's river and be open to currents that move the journey from one bank to the other and from tributary to eddy to delta.

many of us live somewhere between strict goal-setting and haphazard movement via the addition of that little tool called flexibility. goals are fabulous things, firm and statutory, beacons that wink and call seductively for our presence. come closer, come here, come on you sweet thing, I'm waiting for you. flow, also, is a beautiful thing, as it moves you from one place to the next, gentling guiding your course and suggesting you visit locations not before considered. when we allow flexibility into our life course, we can set our sights on milestones and beacons, yet let our paths be at times indirect and swayed by forces greater than ourselves.

I have what I call Great Goals, large, important things I'm shooting for. my path toward them, however, is up for grabs. each day I assess where I am and what my next right step is, then tackle that. sometimes the universe leaves me alone and I keep moving along with my little steps, and other times the universe throws me curve balls to dodge, moving my path a few feet to the left, or a giant step up on a ledge. I am focused on this target that continues to feel far, far away, but I will eventually get there, weaving and flowing and at times marching steadfastly forward.
but I always watch out for puddles.

two days ago I had my car cleaned by professionals. this is something I don't do often, and it's one of those luxuries I revel in. it was beautiful. floor mats shiny, vinyl all spiffed up, new fragrance wafting about, no more doggy-nose marks on the windows. it's been raining off and on here, so as I drove around after the cleaning I was extremely careful where I drove: puddles were absolutely to be avoided. if one lay across my path in such a way that it was completely unavoidable, I slowed down and moved through it cautiously, causing as little splash as possible.

yesterday I went for a bike ride, up the canyon where snow still reigns but warm air battles it remorselessly. run-off coursed across the road in numerous spots, rivers that neither car nor bike could avoid. in certain spots one could pick the least wet segment of road, and I spent more than a few minutes scanning for the least-puddled spot to weave my skinny tires through.

my car got dirty.
my bike got wet.
muddy splatters coated my car, my bike, and me.

as I weave my way through life, aiming for beacons and flowing with what comes, I try to skirt puddles. sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. at times I am shiny clean and brilliant and I end up speckled with mud. at times I am just plain old me and the splashing water is refreshing.
puddles exist.
puddles are inevitable.
and, thank you God, I am washable. my car, my bike, and me, we are all, always, washable and renewable, and this is how we keep marching on toward whatever it is that calls us forward, upward, onward.

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