Fresh Tracks

Pristine snow covers the field in front of our house, unmarred and perfect. Sunrise highlights the wind sculpted surface into pale blue shadows and brilliant flecks of diamond.

The hill behind our house is a different work of art. Tracks crisscross it in ornate patterns, chaotic and beautiful.

The field ahead a tabula rasa; the hill behind a complex story.

I hesitate to walk across the fresh powder, not wanting to disturb something so new and clean. Then I notice I’m not the first at all. The trail of a kangaroo rat weaves across the smooth snow.  Two hind feet jumping, a long tail dragging between. His path isn’t straight, it flows and curves and alters direction. Like our own.  The little rodent harbored no qualms about forging boldly ahead. Writing his own story on the blank slate.

I glance at the tracks behind and appreciate their wild, winding course. They brought me here, not to a new beginning, but to a continuation of the journey. The tracks let me know that I haven’t lost my way, but rather blazed my own crooked trail.

My hope for all of you is that you’ll glance back sometimes. Not to dwell there, but to appreciate where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.  Renew your strength and continue forward into the unmarred beauty of your future.

You’re not the first to go this way, even when it feels like it.