The snow crunched as I walked through the park this morning. It was snowing, blowing but not unpleasant. I was on one of my usual paths, paths long since defined for ease of walking and for mileage. There are 5 or 6 of them, varying from 2 miles to 4 miles. I even have one that goes by the grocery store so I can get something for lunch.
But mostly they offer freedom from decision. I can walk them all blindfolded. Usually, when walking, I study something: listen to a language course, review a favorite trip to some exotic land or perhaps review key points of something I have heard. There was a time when I would go over plans for a project at work, but those days have passed.
But this morning I crunched along, mind blank. I was the first on the path this morning, it is a holiday. No other footprints, no dog tracks, not even squirrel tracks. I turned and could see my tracks following me.
I reached the end of the path, this walk is exactly a mile from the house, turned and followed my own tracks back. My mind went blank again – sometimes it is nice to be able to – go blank. Still in the park, I was nearing the end of the walk when I noticed the smooth surface of the snow, tracks that I made on the outward trek had disappeared. The snow and the wind had filled them in.
What an interesting metaphor for life! At the beginning, one is excited, energetic, full of ambition, plans – the future beckons. One makes tracks on the outbound journey: school, marriage, children, work, travel, you name it – it all leaves tracks in the snow. But, sooner or later, the time comes when the tracks fill in and one ceases to exist.