The Path One Travels
It’s what I do.
And so I caught sight of him.
Then I watched for a time.
He had ambition, I could see that.
He had drive, too.
The drive to get to where he was going.
Some might call it destiny; others fate.
Neither mattered to him.
I saw him avoid dark abysses.
Watched as he lightly made his way over obstacles in his path.
The whole time, I admired his surety.
He put his head up at one point.
Like any good citizen would. He looked both ways.
To make sure he was safe on his journey.
He looked both ways several times.
Finally, it occurred to me that he was making a choice, not merely picking a path.
Once the choice was made, he ambled on.
Not too fast, and not to slow.
Just quickly enough to get to his next objective.
But this time, it was up and onward he was planning on.
A flat path offers little resistance.
He wanted to climb; the higher he climbed, the more safety I assume he felt he achieved.
But the higher one climbs, the more dangers, obstacles, and setbacks they encounter.
He made it through.
Not with any particular grace or savvy.
Nor with any strategy I could see.
Something else was driving him further; something I think most of us lose at some point or another along our own paths.
It was with purpose he climbed to his objective.
But he didn’t stop there.
He had another objective.
Stopping never led to achievement or anything else worth mention.
So he went on.
It took time.
All of it did.
He didn’t wait for assistance.
He never looked back.
Never glanced from side to side as he had once before in ascertaining his path forward.
He did it all himself with that same surety of purpose I wish I possessed from day to day.
I lost track of him for a time after that.
A week, maybe two.
I was lucky.
I might have missed him.
But I didn’t…and when I did see him again.
He didn’t require my congratulations.
Didn’t care that I empathized with the ups and downs, uncertainties, risks, and dangers he had faced with me looking on.
He was just a common Asterocampa celtis.
The so-common-you-see-them-every-day Hackberry Emperor Moth whose transformation I’d kept tabs on from caterpillar to cocoon to moth.
He flew off at some point, and my heart hurt just a little bit after that.
Hearts are meant to hurt a little now and again; just as different paths are meant to be walked.
Sometimes we are fortunate enough to have someone cheering us on as we make our way forward.
Other times, others cheer us on without us ever suspecting it.
We each choose our path.
The trick is to walk it.