It’s 6.10 in the morning. I like to wake up early and go for a walk always taking a camera with me if possible. I am lucky to live in a place that has a forest and water very close to me and these are the things I really do not take for granted. Or do I?
After closing the door behind me I am already facing a first choice: if I take the elevator or if I walk down. I take the elevator. I continue and open the door outside where fresh morning air and rising sun greets me with a nice view. I live in a place that, loosely translated, means “Wuthering heights” in Finnish. It is always very windy here and yet in this morning for some reason the winds are not very strong but strong enough for them to show me who is the boss.
I continue my morning walk. Nobody is awake. This is my favourite time of the day. Undisturbed and just for me. No phonecalls or emails. Just silence.
I’m planning to go to a place where I normally never go in winter. It is a place where many of my ideas in the last 6 years have been born. It is a place surrounded by trees, a rock to sit and a sea view. But now is March and this winter has been extremely heavy in Finland. The temperatures have varied from +5 to -30 Celsius from where I live (do the conversion yourself please) and in most places, even in Helsinki, we have snow cover of over 1 meter. This I saw last time when I was 6 years old, so long time ago.
I continue to the forest and I notice a path that other people have walked. It is tiny, only about 25 cm wide and that makes it hard to stay on that path. It is also slippery. Many times I almost fall and having somewhat scruffy looks with a camera in my hand at 7 in the morning I probably look like an idiot. Would make a good comedy act probably.
I walk the path and I look around and I am surrounded by magnificient trees, snow and different kind of rocks. In other words, by nature. I feel strong wind and it, I can’t poetically say caresses, greets me with its power and blows me off the path to the snow next to the path. I sink and struggle to get back to the path and find it very difficult. I’m stuck. Me, 45 years old man, I am stuck in a snow in a forest in Finland. Now that is something to think about.
I struggle for a while and then I have no other choice but to continue to walk in the snow. It is extremely difficult. It’s nothing like the small path I was walking just 10 minutes ago. This is a heavy path. But wait. It does feel hard but it also feels more solid and yet difficult. With each step my foot sinks into the snow and I go forward a bit. Suddenly I realize I am making a new path to myself. It is truly an enlightening feeling. There is something familiar in that feeling. Something I have forgotten. How it was to play in the snow when I was a boy of 8 years and not very far from here actually. The joy of simple things. The mystery of the snow. The details in every snowflake. They are beautiful.
I finally reach my destination and take some pictures, pause for a moment watching the horizon where sun is just rising offering amazing view that no Blue Ray disc can capture. I can feel the power of the nature here and it is very strong and it makes me humble. All these huge old trees.
I start going back following the safe narrow path and I reach my home and open the door to a corridor. Again I am facing many of my daily choices: if I take the elevator or if I walk the stairs. Again I take the elevator. In the meantime I left this laptop I am using to type this, to do some tasks which it has completed with precision.
I take a shower, grab a cup of coffee and start writing this blog that I enjoy doing from time to time. I write without any particular aim or message. If there is any, it probably is found somewhere buried in the text because this is just stream of consciousness.
In the shower while water keeps running over my body I suddenly realize how many things in my life I take for granted. It is truly amazing. Almost everything. It is a frightening thought but it is true. All this while taking a simple shower. And yet they say we have 50 000 thoughts per day. I had maybe 100 today and I don’t remember them. I only remember that I am in the shower and having these thoughts.
Finally I am tempted to take my favourite book called “ Road less traveled” which I really love. It has a poem that finishes this better than I could ever say or write. It was written by a poet named Robert Frost. Thanks for reading this!
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference