I arrive at the foot of the mountain, ready to climb the switchbacks.
I’m excited; what mysterious adventures lie beyond the mountain?
But I’m at a standstill. My path is blocked. An avalanche unleashed its fury and dumped a load of rocks and boulders onto my path.
So what should I do?
The path on my left appears sunny and flat. It looks easy, too easy. Routine and boring, and very long. To reach the other side of the mountain I will require supplies and time, neither of which I have much of.
The path on my right looks gloomy and cumbersome. Storm clouds are forming in the sky above. But that path around the mountain is shorter than the one on the left. Should I navigate the elements and risk getting wet and cold, or hit by lightning?
I look behind me and contemplate my journey already completed. Heading back to the past might be an option… At least I know what to expect. It’s safe, predictable. But do I want to relive the past?
Once again, I look ahead. The mountain is looming. I can see the buried path emerge up above the stone hedge left by the avalanche.
I bend down and pick up a stone. It fits into the palm of my hand. What should I do with it? There are many more right beneath my boots.
For a moment, I hesitate. It will take grit and determination to pick up enough boulders to free a path through the stone hedge.
I look up. I see the switchbacks, beckoning. The meadows on either side, teeming with flowers and insects, look so pleasant and welcoming. I see opportunities and possibilities, not barriers and obstacles. It reminds me of hikes through the Swiss Alps. Happy times.
Again, I look down. The boulders and stones are large and sharp. Menacing.
I have to choose a path. Which should I choose?
I remind myself:
I always march to the beat of my own drum.
And so, I begin. I pick up the first stone and toss it behind me.