When you come to a fork in the road…
– Y. Berra
The street I live on ends by dumping out into State Forest property with its endless loops for walking, dirt biking, cross country skiing, or snowshoeing. I wouldn’t count myself one of those North Face extremists (though I do love a good yoga pant) but I feel grateful every day that I can walk out my front door and be lost in the canopy of old growth trees in minutes. And if I can talk one of my kids into going in with me, that is my heaven on earth. I try not to let a weekend go by without a good hour or two visit, no matter the season, the landscape changing with the cycles of the solstices. And though there is dependable, volunteer maintenance that my fellow woods’ lovers exert over the trails, at times a heavy rain or an early snow melt creates an alternative path around a rutted or particularly swampy section. But when it is dry, the option of a second path seems superfluous.
On one of the more recent, happier (I had company) and drier outings, my ten-year-old and I found ourselves approaching one of these two-part paths. I, proud mama with all of my wit and wisdom fully intact, buoyantly bellow “when you come to a fork in the road take it” …thank you Yogi Berra and my Dad who said this to me a hundred times growing up. Eye roll. Groan. “Mom, that doesn’t make any sense.” My son chooses the direct road; I go high. Why not?
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” It’s a saying that is endlessly nuanced and superbly apropos at many a junction in my life. There is no stopping. Analysis only paralyzes forward momentum. So, take it. Does this embolden courage? Discourage shame? Give one a sense of purpose? For me it is a reminder that the choice isn’t Option A or Option B; the choice is to keep moving and trust that I can handle the gifts and the traps of the path I take. And when I am on the path I chose, it isn’t worth the worry or wonder of what might have happened down the other path; in fact that path dissolved when I made the choice for this one. All that is ahead are countless other forks to navigate. Choices to make simply because the choice is presented in the first place. Good and bad. Highs and lows. This is an infinite game. Take the fork.
As the New Year gets underway, as we begin to write the story of 2020 by the forks we take, I extend my gratitude for all of the forks we are on because of your choice. We honor your courage to choose at all and we seek to support the forks ahead with grace and acuity, tenderness and faith. And if for some reason, the fork we find ourselves on together doesn’t quite work out the way we planned, we love the challenge of designing some new junctions that will, without a doubt, relieve the anxiety of the fork we find ourselves currently piloting. Because you see we are as committed as you are. We opt-in just as deep. There is no half-way in or switch-back; just forward. Just, take it. We love being here with you. Happy New Year.