Last weekend we travelled back to the region of my youth. A place I have always called home. The occasion, the fiftieth birthday of a friend and hunting buddy. We stopped at a beachside campground that had been a part of many fun times as a young man. The evening was spectacular as is often the case in that part of the world and while meandering along below the beach cliffs we watched the sun desend toward the horizon over the sea. At one point, as the light peeked through the clouds, a golden pathway was laid on the surface of the ocean. It began at the horizon and grew toward us as the sun moved. Truly, it was awe inspiring to watch this shimmering pathway extend to our very feet. I felt the invitation to walk out upon it, to accept the challenge to leave the shore and believing in the impossible discover the unknown.
Instead, I continued on to a party with old friends in a hall I had helped renovate in the community of my childhood and early adulthood. Many neighbours and friends and family were there and I anticipated a great time. It was not to be. Yes I was welcomed by old friends, but I bcame aware of a strange phenomonen. While I was with people I knew and had known for 20-40 yrs I was no longer a part of their world. At some time in my life I have swum out of the rock pool type environment of that community and begun swimming in the ocean. I confess to it being an erie feeling, present yet not engaged.
The pathway in the sea began to have greater meaning. What is behind is behind, no matter how good or bad, meaningfull or meaningless. There is always a pathway ahead that remains unknown to us until it is revealed by each step we take and looking back for meaning or security obscures our vision forward. I accepted the invitation of the gilded pathway this week. It will mean walking ever further away from that which is behind me. The very act of moving forward dictates that what is before me today is behind me tommorow. Now is the time I have, to enjoy and decide how I will act and to what I will give my love and energy.
I only get today. I am challenged by a golden pathway in the sea to spend today with those who are with me today. To love those who recieve my love. To be friends with those who are friends. I cannot force tomorrow and yesterday cannot be changed.
Two paths extend
One before and one behind
Which I shall look down
Is a choice, solely mine
The gilded path of sun on sea
Reaches its golden hand to me
But would I turn and face the dim
Look longingly to past old friends
Good was there and many days of joy
That I could wish to again enjoy, but
I no longer live there, though the faces be familiar
The hugs sincere
Those days are gone, not to be despised
Treasured surely if I am wise, yet
Now I stand without, looking in
An ocean fish peering into the rock pools of youth.
For me the width of eternity
Beckoned by light beyond the horizon
A path of gold in a setting sun
Bidding me walk forward into the land of dreams
Leave the shores of certainty
Eroding after their fashion
Trusting to the ever shifting waters of freedom
Each step changing the path from now to then
From before to behind
Breathing only what is now
copyright: PG Wilson.