The Path Less Traveled

The tall trees groaned in the wind while the little ones chit-chatted nervously. Evidence of other people’s footprints remained fossilized in the snow, but they’ve all gone home and have taken their dogs with them. I strapped on my YakTrax and attempted to run on the icy snow, smooth like glass, on the path less traveled and above the footprints. It glittered in the faint sunlight under the watchful eyes of the old trees.

The path less traveled is not easy: my feet broke the surface of the snow, leaving a cracked trail in my wake. The snow grabbed my shoes, slipping them off every time my feet sank.  I then moved to the path more traveled in the center of the trail and found that the frozen prints twisted and turned my ankles with each step so that both paths were really about the same.

A lone tree branch grazed my hair, flipping my part from one side to the other. I felt like the woman in Benton’s painting, Picnic, where the branches snag her hair and dress. The trees might have been talking to me, telling me to slow down and walk. So that’s what I did.

I took the path less traveled, and I took the path most traveled, depending on the circumstances. And that’s how it should be.