A short walk down a long path
Bluff Point State Park, Groton, Connecticut
An afternoon stroll at the shoreline and lessons learned.
The Sunday afternoon stroll on one of Connecticut's most well-kept secret waterfronts led my family to a choice. Do we take the high road, the low road, or stay on the rocky terrain with seashells strewn along the riverbank? Do we head toward the end of the point and risk having to walk back in the dark?
A search for crustaceans.
Have you ever gone fishing or walked along a riverbank in search of hermit crabs?
As a hermit crab grows, it expels its old shell and searches for a new one. Sometimes I wish, we could all do the same. Expelling our old habits and history, especially the memories which we are least fond of, and exchanging our memories for only the best ones.
Would it be a good or bad thing for someone new to try on my old shell?
In thinking about it, I've made mistakes. Each path promises a new adventure. Sometimes a twisting path leads to an open field. A fork in the road may lead to an end with no beginning.
Would I want someone to try out my mistakes?
My mistakes have made me the person I am today. I believe a new shell is warranted for someone else though. Maybe my shell might have too many wounds.
Sunlight twinkles along the river bed like stars dance in the moonlit sky.
Imagine if our outer skin was made from jelly like material. Anything would be able to penetrate us to our core.
A jelly fish is symmetrical. If you divide a jellyfish at any point, you will get two equal halves.
I pondered at the site of a jellyfish laying near the shore without any fight left.
Would I be equally the same if I were to divide my own flesh in to a right side and left side?
A jellyfish without life is a blob.
Is that how we want our journey on earth to end?
A jellyfish without life is a blob.
A shell lay amongst a bed of seaweed.
As we continued along our path, finding no crustaceans around the main water inlet, we came across many opened shells. They seem to bare their inner beauty to us as they glistened in the sunlit sky.
Inside was pure. The outer edges were a little rough. Overall it was a beautiful shell with a few sharp spots.
As it was tangled in undesirable seaweed, we left it laying in the sun in its own right to feel the rough surf crash over it as the tide came in higher over the shore.
Are you a deep thinker when you are walking a nature trail?
Our journey took an uphill turn.
Coming around the bend to a popular spot for vacationers, we suddenly were given the ultimatum of walking back toward the front of the beach or walking uphill to where the sharp gravel and dirt come together in a man-built walk way leading to the hiking trails.
A quick decision was made to follow the trail, as there were obstacles in the way along the shoreline that we didn't want to slow us down.
A random yellow sponge laying on the river bank.
We thought we found SpongeBob!
It was a delightful surprise when my children ran up to this large yellow sponge in amazement. To think we found SpongeBob laying on the beach near our home!
In reality, it was just a large yellow sponge, one used most likely for washing a car.
I again pondered at the relevance of the sponge laying by the strewn glass bottles and opened oyster shells.
Aren't we all a little like sponges? Absorbing everything we learn?
The path widened and turned to the right.
The wider path.
As we approached an opening along the path, the path widened and turned to the right. We were able to share the path with more people than before.
A bicyclist drove by. Two runners ran past. A family with twins in a stroller and a little girl skipping ahead passed us next.
It was the dog, a mixed breed corgi, who seemed the most interested in us. He carefully studied and sniffed us. We passed his test and he went on his way seemingly smiling as we looked back.
Through the clearing.
Larger than life.
Through the clearing, the sun shone brighter. It was larger than life. It brought me back to memories of a simpler time. When all I needed to know is whether it was going to rain or not, and if it would be warm enough to ride my bicycle in the neighborhood.
The heat from the sun overpowered me, and once again reminded me that there is something larger out there than this world we call Earth.
A small crab.
At last, what we came to see.
While we had bigger ideas of finding a large crustacean in mind, we came upon a small crab walking around on dry land.
It stopped in its tracks. It entrusted us not to harm it. We left it alone after admiring it and taking some photos.
Was it disappointing that we came all the way for this small crab?
We were happy that we found any at all. Just that one crab was enough to satisfy us.
At last a place to rest.
What a glorious place to ground our feet.
We were comforted at last by the park bench under an old apple tree.
Carefully making sure no one was walking down the trail in pursuit of a place of rest before us, we headed over and made ourselves at home.
It refreshed our minds and bodies to sit down and take a break from a short walk on a long path.
The high road or the low road.
Which path to choose?
Never have walked the low road before, we chose it to be near the shoreline. Still pursuing possible crustacean sightings meant walking near the water and keeping our eyes open.
Approaching another corner, we finally saw clearly to the other side of the bend.
Parts of it were green grass. Other parts were rocky soil. Still yet, the remainder was tall trees.
Through the trees, we saw the light.
It's not necessary to cut something down to see through it.
It wasn't necessary to cut down the tree to see the light shining brightly through it.
Each limb was aptly placed and gently swaying through each click of the camera capturing the sun in the exact spot where it was placed in the sky.
Cutting down the tree to take a photograph would have served no purpose. The tree added to the beauty of the landscape and provides a home for wildlife living near the sea.
Yet in other areas of the trail, we came across trees that were broken or destroyed. It appeared someone went to great lengths to chop down vegetation. For what purpose does that serve?
Through the rippling water I could see broken pieces of shell.
The bottom of it.
Broken pieces of shell laying on the bottom of the rippled strewn water.
We could see clearly through the translucent color of water to the inside of the beach where one would have to watch their step.
You wouldn't want to damage yourself on the broken shell, but what about doing more damage to the shellfish beds used to feed so many people in the area?
It was clear that swimming in this area where the water held many secrets was not an option at this point in our journey.
A old strong tree bears many fruit.
I looked up.
There was fruit hanging over us at the old apple tree. We had made a complete circle and were heading back.
The fruit looked delicious, but we could not reach it as it had grown too tall and too far away.
Share the trails.
It came abundantly clear as we headed out of the trails today, that we had a mutual expectation to share the trails with others.
Others unlike ourselves who were not walking by foot, but rather on bicycles or jogging ahead of our pace.
Yes, indeed, we shared the trails with grace and respect. The same we would expect from others.
It worked out in our favor today. As there were plenty of people that were giving of themselves and understanding how to find their way out of a winding path or fork in the road. When we got to the end of the grassy brush, we simply turned back. We turned back so we would not walk ahead in the deep darkness without guidance from the sunlight.
It was then, that I knew I truly had new inspiration and to share my journey with everyone.
Here's our sign.
Where do you find inspiration?
When I've come to a road block, I find inspiration in the quietness of an afternoon stroll on a path to nowhere in particular. I let it take me to new places and find higher ground when I become lost.
How to deal with forks in the road.
There will be many times you will come to a fork in the road.
It's a place divided by a high road and a low road.
It doesn't really matter which road you choose.
Either road will lead you right back to where you started.