Over the past couple of years I have started to find several four-leafed clovers every summer.
Most of my life this was something I had never done. Now, I find them a few times a year.
One important point, however, to consider. I find them because I take a moment to look for them.
How many patches of clover do you encounter along your way? Do you stop and examine them to see if there are any that are not just the usual three-leaves?
Now what if we take this out and expand upon it, examining the metaphor. How many people don’t take a moment to look for a four-leaf clover, or to smell the roses, or to savor any moment in the immediate present?
We live in a go-go-go society. Do it fast, get from point “a” to point “b” with all speed, no lollygagging. We want it all instantly, no matter what “it” is. We get impatient when we do not experience the results immediately.
One of the notions behind Pathwalking is that while it’s good to have a goal, there is tremendous value in having experiences along your path. Because of the various obstacles, twists and turns on any given path, you might make unexpected discoveries and gain new insights.
I get caught up in the how of the universe. I don’t just work on the things I know I want to make manifest, I obsessively hold onto a need to know HOW they will manifest. However, I also know that this is not how things work.
To add another twist to this, not only do I want to know how a thing that has not happened yet might happen, I often go back over things past and examine how they happened. While this can be of tremendous value, it is important not to get too caught up, because then I get trapped in what was instead of what is.
There is a field of clover. I can pass by it, I can pass through it. I can choose whether or not to pause and examine it, see if amongst the many three-leaved grasses I might find a four-leaf (or, in one instance I experienced, a five-leaf).
This, however, can present a new problem. I don’t meticulously examine every square inch of the clover patch. First, most contain a really large number of clovers. Second, this is whimsy. I am not questing after a Holy Grail, I want to examine a few clovers and see if I can find one with more than three leaves to it. A moment of time that happens in the here-and-now, just a moment or two, and then onwards along the path.
This is a perfect metaphor in regards to the overall notion of Pathwalking. Today I am at this point, and I am choosing to walk a path with the goal of reaching that destination. I recognize along the way I may experience numerous obstacles, twists and turns, and all kinds of other experiences that may even persuade me to change my path, whether permanently or temporarily. This is Pathwalking.
But as I walk that path I am going to have experiences, moments during the journey that will stand out, that could be unexpectedly profound, that might just alter or affirm the path chosen. I won’t know until it happens.
Because no two paths are alike, this is not to say that this is the only way in which such moments happen. For some people the goal of Pathwalking is the experience of the path itself. Maybe their end goal is to take the time to slowly and thoroughly explore every encounter along their path, because their goal is too dynamic to be a singular outcome.
Conversely, there are certainly paths where you will just travel from point “a” to point “b” with laser-precise focus, because you have no doubt about what you want and how to get there. It may be too short a path to allow for those moments.
I suspect, however, that the majority of paths that each of us walk will include those brief, momentary encounters along the way. The wall of roses you simply need to pause and lean in to smell. The field of clover you need to stop and glance across to look for the lucky four-leafer. The Instagram photo you need to look at that your friend took of the house you’ve always wanted. Opening a book and looking for Waldo amongst a sea of colorful people.
Nobody wants to get to the end of their time on this planet and lament all the things they missed out on. At least, nobody I know. We get one shot in this particular meat suit to experience this time and this place, and it is a world that is full of wonder, of endless possibility, and we are all empowered to create and to experience magnificent things.
I strive to learn something new every day. I am excited when I discover things I didn’t know before. So I say, why not take a moment from time to time to look at that clover patch, and see if maybe I can find myself a four-leafer?
Do you pause along your path and take a moment explore the easily overlooked?
GOAL LOG – Week 23:
Diet: Continuing with my extreme diet last week. I ate well, avoiding bread and pasta and candy and other sugars. My willpower has been tested, but I have stuck with it.
Exercise: Fencing happened twice last week, and I made it to the gym once. I did a LOT of walking, but need to strive to do more this week. Awaiting a new pool key.
Writing: Four days of at least some writing and editing happened.
Meditation: Five days of meditation, at least 5 minutes each day.
Gratitude: I wrote out 5 things to be grateful for every day last week.
This is the two-hundred thirty-third entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.