Where the Paths May Lead

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The last few days of December find  us nostalgic for other times and places. 

As the little ones among us look ahead to Christmas Day and the promises of wishes made real; many look back across the years to joyful moments passed.

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We remember loved ones no longer with us.  We look back along the winding pathways which led us to this particular moment.

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It is a time to take out stored memories, like the treasured ornaments we place on the Yule tree each December.  Normally wrapped up and put away, we allow them to breathe and shimmer for a short time each year.

As our collection grows it takes on a certain luster of age, a patina wrought of familiarity.

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Some recollections bring us an echo of joy across the wide space of years; others fresh waves of sadness or regret.

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It is part of being human, I believe, and a hallmark of a lifetime’s journey.  For our paths aren’t always straight and clear.  They meander through fate and circumstance, opportunity, and those choices we claim and those  we reject.

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Sometimes we can see paths which parallel our own, but can’t find the gate to access them.  Sometimes our paths wind in spirals or loops which feel closed off from further progress along the way.

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Other paths feel inevitable, wide, clear and straight.  We travel them with groups of loved ones and friends who share the same destination we hold before us.

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But always, at this time of year, we finally look ahead; considering where to journey next.  Whether to continue on our present path or to seek a new one.

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What goals do we hold out for ourselves in the months ahead?  What changes do we need to make?  What special wishes will we hold in our hearts at this magical time of Winter Solstice?

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Are we seeking fresh challenge or warmth and comfort?  Is there a cause calling to us, or is it time to enjoy a span of  peacefulness and rest?

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Is the way ahead clear, or are there obstructions we must  move before we continue on our way?

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In the quiet space we find in late December, we have an opportunity to ponder our life’s path.  Time away from work and the normal routine invites us to ponder where we have been and where we are going in our lives.

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We can enjoy the peace this season brings us to look both behind us and ahead of us.

And perhaps there is a bit of child-like wonder in our hearts, yet.

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As we articulate our wishes to the Universe, we can almost hear sleigh bells in the distance; and once again believe in the magic this season holds.

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All photos taken at Colonial Williamsburg, December 23, 2016.

All photos taken at Colonial Williamsburg, December 23, 2016.

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For the Daily Post’s

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Path

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In loving memory of those we loved and lost in 2016. 

May they continue along their eternal pathways

in light and in peace.

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About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

12 responses to “Where the Paths May Lead

  1. Pingback: Path: Fly Over | What's (in) the picture?

  2. Such a thoughtful piece of writing. Each year, and every journey, comes with its challenges and uncertainties, and there will be hardships and heartaches along the way, and as you said, ones lost. I like the questions you posed at the end, especially the one of figuring out if there is a calling and something we’re meant to do. It can be hard figuring out that question but I suppose if we follow our instincts, perhaps we will go where we’re meant to be and meet whom we’re meant to meet. Seasons greetings and wishing you well for 2017 🙂

    • Thank you, Mabel, for visiting today and sharing your thoughts on the journey. Thank you for your good wishes for the year ahead, which certainly will prove an interesting one! There is a way of knowing in one’s heart whether we are on the right path, “The path with heart,” and with the companions who lead us forward rather than astray. May you find all you are seeking along your way, and may love be your light and guide in every step. Merry Christmas! ❤ ❤ ❤

      • “The path with heart” You said it so well and I will keep your words in mind 🙂 The heart know what it knows, and it feels what it feels. Once again, thanks for the wise words and best wishes to you. Let the light and love guide you too ❤

  3. Beautiful,thoughts and photos for this time of year. Merry Christmas to you and your family?

  4. Reblogged this on Aaron Elmore and commented:
    A lovely post which got me thinking about the different paths our lives take.

  5. I love the parallels you draw between physical and metaphorical paths, particularly how some paths are wide and we walk them with loved ones. It really connects with how we travel with different groups of people at different times in our lives.

    I also really like the festive photos, the wreaths are so much more creative than the ones I usually see around where I live.

    Wishing you all the best over the holidays! 🙂

  6. Nostalgic thoughts….love it. And your photos are wonderful.

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