Tag Archives: Joseph Campbell

smashing pumpkins

3 Dec

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
― Joseph Campbell


There is NO TRAIL.

Behind my parents house lies a golf coarse, and behind that, a forested hill leading up to a tower.

My 81-year-old dad, confident in his newly installed hip socket, was sure there was a trail leading up to the tower, so off we, Eden, dad and me, went in search of a way up the mountain.  No watches, no phones, my dad using an old golf putter as his walking stick.

The trail proved illusive.  So we went off-trail through tall grasses, new growth woods full of brambles;  we followed some dead-ending paths, and finally we found an old growth forest that led back to the golf course and home.  We wandered  looking for a way up, but instead found our own way, without a clear end point, adventuring into unknown territories, right out the back door.

Eden scrambled ahead looking for possible trails, as we explored.  At times, we found washed-out gullies to climb; we held brambles for each other so they didn’t snap and catch us painfully; we separated and called to each other through the trees; my dad and I watched Eden roll down hills.  We found a spot where someone had dumped 10 or more pumpkins, still bright orange despite the below freezing nights.  Eden tried to smash a few against a tree, then realized they were nowhere near rotting.  She carried two back down from which to scoop out and roast seeds at my parents’ house.

This time in the woods was sandwiched by large gatherings of far-flung family.  The way my energy flowed in the woods exploring as opposed to the talking and catching up could not be more disparate.  There is something so organic and right about tromping about, making our own way in the natural world, yet I have to make these moments happen – often pushing my will by force and rejecting invitations,  chores,  obligations – recognizing the trueness of doing what I enjoy most.    I separate from the world and become whole again in these spaces.  How wonderful it was to have my father and my daughter along for this adventure.

Time without agenda flows so magically.

We have so little teaching and guidance except that which we seek out on our own.  I tell my students and my kids often words about each of us making are own way, but sometimes it sounds just like nagging or preaching.    Eyes glaze over.

What is it like to flow in your own way in each moment?  My experience opens into more and more of a moment to moment flow as I am creating my life as a reflection of all that makes sense, not in my mind, but in my body, in my heart.  The intuitive truth starts dictating and shining through each unfolding now.  The people in my life now more clearly reflect acceptance as I have come to accept myself.  The activities that are allowed entrance are no longer something to dread, but are carefully chosen for their energetic nourishment.  Food, music, possessions, friends, doings – all a reflection and creation from within.

Making one’s own trail can appear in infinite ways – it may be in nature.   It may be in a low paying job serving others.  It may be care-giving,  making food, making fun, handing out opportunities, holding doors, holding my daughters hand as her toenail is cut out by the doctor.   It may be running to the pharmacy at 9pm for meds and cat food for the strays.  It may be a firm NO as a solid reflection of boundaries.  It may be a visit to the roaring ocean, a sandy butt, a look away  or a belly laugh of compassion.  A trail of one’s own defies simple explanation.  It is what occurs naturally in each organic next step toward home.

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