Wandering (literally and metaphorically) thoughts

[26 October 2020 while wandering along the riverside walkway in PN (and a little bit at home later)]

I can choose to stay entirely on the sealed shared cycle/walk path with many diverse walkers, joggers, cyclists, scooters and skateboarders; but at times I can choose to step off onto the unsealed path where there are less people(more intrepid walkers and mountain bikers) that winds less by the water and more though the trees.

Both paths have their beauty. The sealed path runs alongside the river which flows along sparkling in the sun (you could ALMOST forget how polluted it is). Looking across the water are the hills and trees of the farmland that is still there even as the city expand (houses appearing). Many people of all ages and ethnicities (hear the various languages) are using the path this Labour Day morning. The unsealed path is not as smooth, but there among the trees grow wild flowers (or at least unplanted ones) – violets, forget-me-nots and white flowers I don’t know the name. See where a mountain bike area is being developed. Some teens are trying it out.

This reminds me of life, all aspects of it. We can stay on the broad smooth path that is there, but at times it is nice (necessary even) to step off onto the narrower uneven trails that (oh wow 2 ducks in the river) leads to wherever, with unexpected encounters, and beauties that help us to grow as people. Sometimes the diversions onto other paths, from the broad main one, are about exploring, for ourselves, who we are, what we believe, how we live our lives, in this time, this place, this stage of our lives.

I have for the last 35 years in PN (and 40 years in Whanganui) enjoyed my solitary walks through bush, along rivers and streams (and in Whanganui around the lake). Walking alone with my thoughts, my reflections seeing, hearing and responding to what is around me (Great! The wind is getting up). But sometimes I walk with others, either in a planned coordinated way or by happenchance.

It’s the same in life – mostly I’ve walked my own path alone (happily) following what seems to be the path I need to be on. But at times I need to link up with others, to share the path that we are on together; joining our separate paths to be on for a time or exploring together.

All of this applies to the journey of faith. Sometimes it feels right to walk the smooth, even sealed path that is laid out – formal liturgy, church teachings etc. But at times it is necessary to step out and explore other paths – other forms of prayer, other ways of thinking;  for this seems to help us (me) to really know who God/Christ is for us in our lives at this time, in this place, in this stage.

This morning I woke up and thought I would go for a wandering walk.

This morning I woke up and thought I would go for a wander.

This morning I woke up and thought.

This morning I woke up.

Angela Coleman
26 October 2020

(When I came to type this out (the original was written in my journal) I decided what while I would (obviously) correct spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, and restructure the particularly  clumsy bits, I would leave in the occasional stray thought or observation that had found its way in.)