It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are [e.e.cummings]

Yesterday, I found myself on a familiar path but without my trail partner and his faithful furry companion, Winston. I had been on this hiking trail only twice, but it was steeped in memories. With every curve in the dirt road and each field appearing from the hidden labrinyths I followed - a conversation from the past would replay in my mind. That, I will admit, was a comfort to me. But what followed surprised me.

To say I was "out of my comfort zone" on that first hike months ago, would be more than accurate. I knew five minutes into it that I was in for a serious workout. We took a right turn down a hill into what looked like a mountain full of thicket. I would have much rather taken the longer clearer route around than the short one you needed to scale down at a 80 degree angle. And I made it perfectly clear that very day which path I preferred - as much as I joked and teased. It was not until I walked these paths alone that I heard and saw myself through my trail partner eyes, realizing the fault in my ways.

What scared me was how my initial reaction to so many things over the course of that relationship and my life is the one that I exhibited on those vine covered hills. If something is new or unfamiliar, I turn away. As much as I trusted Winston's owner, I could not push myself to do what may have seemed ordinary to others. That is the benefit of having postive relationships with other people - is pushing each other to try new things and experience life in every aspect. I see that now. And wish I could try that "first hike" one more time.

I stood at the fork in the road on my way back to the car - 2 .. 3. .. .5 minutes. couldn't tear myself off the path. Taking in every sound, the neon flicker of the fireflies, waves of honeysuckle drifting through the air and then as if some cosmic joke.. .as I looked down.

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