The map

They say it is easy to get there.  You just go.

“Head in any direction you want,” they say.

“You are bound to find a way.”

The wandering paths, etched into the hillside, weave like veins on the back of an old man’s hand.  Some wandered these tracks.  A definite goal.  Others followed.  By sheer accident, new paths forged, over time trampled, well worn, familiar.

My sagging sack drapes over my shoulder like a sugar bag cape.  It contains little.  Just bare essentials.  I follow the path and then distracted, notice a daisy.  It doesn’t see those that pass.  It looks to the sky.  There are no questions it asks.  It grows, oblivious.  I rest beside the flower and survey its vista.   An expanse of rolling green sliced with meandering lines of grooves.  For a time I forget where I am.  I look, mindful of nothing.

Where do they lead?  Each has its own destination.  I cross to a new impression and continue.  I feel compelled to walk the path.  Its magnetic simplicity lures me to somewhere many have already been.  All the paths lead to the one place.  They cross and twist and interweave.  I step off.  On to the foliage of roughened pasture.  From a distance it is carpet.  But here, the clayey soil grasps at my feet.  It grapples with my legs and takes possession of my momentum.  I feel freed from the path, I can make my own way.  It is harder.  The path lures with its ease of passage.  I resist.

The hills are desolate.  The breeze carries the pollen of solitude.  I am out of time, in the wrong place.  I don’t want to go the way of the paths, but will one day.  Before I arrive at where they converge, I will take time to explore the gaps between the lines.  Perhaps new footprints followed.  A new track cut.  I just go.  This is my map.


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