Around the bigger obstacle

For the past few years, every time I walked on my favourite wooded path of the NCC Greenbelt, I have had to step over this fallen tree.

A decaying tree trunk, approximately 6 inches in diameter, across a forest path.

No big deal. The decaying trunk is small, and so many human feet and knobby bicycle tires have knocked wood chips out of it over the years, it is returning to its earthy source. I notice this fallen tree, and I must be certain not to trip, but all I need to do is take one larger-than-usual step to clear it.

Yesterday I arrived at the spot. Beside the smaller fallen tree, exactly parallel to it, lay this larger tree trunk, knocked over by an overnight storm.

This one stumped me (pun intended) for a second or two. Too big to clamber over (at least with dignity intact). Too low to crawl under. Must go around.

In only one day so many others had resolved not to let a bigger obstacle block their path that the ground around it was already trodden flat.

New path being forged through the woods.

Every day I clear small obstacles in my path. I must notice them and take extra measures to deal with them, but I manage, no problem. I navigate the pylons narrowing the roadway on my way to work, and I take a few seconds to put on a mask before entering a store.

I ask myself though: Am I allowing some bigger obstacle to block my path? How can I go around?

May you have a day of small obstacles only. Do you have bigger ones you must go around?

12 thoughts on “Around the bigger obstacle

  1. Ally Bean

    I love this post. You’re right that we all face obstacles every day and how we get over or around them is what makes our lives. Once upon a time I had many large obstacles, but now they’re much smaller and I’m more inclined to get on with my life saying whatever, regardless of obstacles. I suppose that’s wisdom.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I was impressed by how quickly the path around the stump was packed down. One day! People can be impressive when we give them a chance. That’s a good thing to remember on the many days we have to ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with people?!”

  2. karen

    Arlene, I love the way you write and how your brain makes such connections. The appearance of the circumvented trodden path is a a sweet reminder that our spirit longs to find a way forward despite circumstances. As for my big obstacle today …moving forward after demoralizing puppy class last night! I’m finding out puppy training here is serious business- marine training serious. Makes me grateful that my time in education followed a philosophy of compassion and empathy towards students and parents, not sharp put-downs and condescension.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I remember puppy days. I ended up being a pretty lax puppy disciplinarian and could never watch Cesar Millan’s dog show because he talked about things that dog owners were doing wrong and it felt like I was doing all of them! In the end, my dog and I settled into a life pattern that worked for us, so that’s all that mattered to me. You and Rumi will do just fine.

  3. marianbeaman

    What a great metaphor for a life lesson: Life is all about problem-solving. The trick is to enjoy the journey as you navigate the path. Prime post, Arlene!


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