I took this shot just before sunset; these are the hues just as the camera saw them. When I saw the image on my computer as I reviewed the shots I’d taken last week, I was drawn to the winding path leading into the late afternoon sun which colors the scene with a nostalgic and perhaps reflective mood.
A road or path is frequently used as a metaphor for life. Robert Frost mused about “the road not taken.” (“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.”) The Beatles sang about the long and winding road. The Bible contains at least 31 references to a path … all metaphors.
During my 1960s teenage search for meaning, I discovered the writings of Henry David Thoreau, the 19th century author / activist / philosopher who spoke to my generation’s “revolutionary” soul. (“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”)
Today, his writing continues to inspire me, just as it did long ago. When I was thinking of this photograph as a metaphor for my life, Thoreau’s words challenged me again. They remind me of the power of thought…that if I want to change the path of my life, I need to change my thoughts.
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~Henry David Thoreau