Leave a Trail

photo by Josh Scholten

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just like a certain recent U.S. President, my father chose to relax by brush cutting.  Later on in life he enjoyed the still peace and quiet of fishing, but when I was young, his favorite thing to do when he had extra time was to grab his brush hook from the garage, sling it over his shoulder, and head out into our woods.  There he would spend hours whacking away at the undergrowth of a lush Pacific Northwest forest, creating open areas for our cows to graze and making trails through seemingly impenetrable trees, foliage and blackberry patches.

Making trails seemed to give him a sense of control and accomplishment that he rarely felt in his government desk job.  It created huge “brush piles” which became controlled bonfires on “burn” days in late October, reducing to ashes what once had been an impassable mess.

Somehow I found and married a man who also enjoys clearing brush, using that same sixty year old brush hook handle that now bears the sweat marks of two beloved men in my life.

The path for me is clearer after their work is done.   I can now find my way.

photo by Josh Scholten

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