It was an epic long weekend in the back country. Here’s what that was like:

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Descending the long steep trail out of the Marble Mountain Wilderness this past weekend, my mind landed on the way we pick our paths, literally, and metaphorically, too.

We must have at least three levels of seeing the path we’re on. Where will my next foot go? Where will I need to navigate in the next 10 or 20 feet and what is the cleanest line, so to speak? And am I on the right path? Will it get me where I want to go? If not, should I recalibrate?

But sometimes, maybe all that control is just an illusion. Sometimes, a path chooses you. And sometimes, for all the charting of course, you’re not going anywhere very fast. That was the case after I sprained an ankle right near the end of the hike out from this trip. Not the right side, where I injured my foot two years ago – this time my left ankle, leaving me perplexed about which side to refer to as “the good side”.

What a revolting development! And yet, at the same time, this must somehow be the right path, because it’s the one I’m on. I picked it. I’m committed to it. I’ve already been down this path, a part of me protests. Now I have to pick my mental path, one that does not lead to the conclusion that my feet and ankles are weak, but instead takes me to the fact that by virtue of doing things in the world, I will sometimes, inevitably, fall.

Thank goodness for the people in my life who have been down this path ahead of me, and have showed that it goes somewhere good. Especially thanks and much respect to Ann Rants, Heidi Perlmutter, Tammy Lightle, Ippolita DiPaola, Susan Corum, Michelle Krall, and Scott Kingery, who will know what I mean.

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