Paths : Down the Road a Piece By Milt Gross


I’ve followed lots of paths as well as places where “they” forgot to make the paths, that I could have followed had “they” made them.

Some of the easier paths are right around home, one that leaves a parking area and heads off through the woods, meets another path where one can turn left, and comes back to the parking lots via yet another path. I haven’t finished those three paths yet, just the first one that meets the first path that turns left.

I’ll get back to it one of these day, but probably not doing hunting season. I really hate being shot dead. I’ve always hated that idea, and in Maine the places one can walk with that possibility are numerous.

I’ve followed paths in Pennsylvania, where they were squeezed in between housing developments and alongside military units containing rockets to fire at the Soviet Union, should that occasion develop. Other paths were just through fairly open woods, past a cabin built for Boy Scouts, along a brook just the right size to jump over, and along other places where I have met a deer or a fox or even other people.

Other people didn’t particularly turn me on. The deer, fox, and other wildlife got my attention fairly rapidly. That’s happened to me in Maine too, where I could wander awhile without meeting any other people, just a moose or two or a deer. (Some of those moose scared me…they’re so big… if they didn’t immediately trot off deeper into the forest.)

Some of these paths were easy to follow. Some were even in a national park. Others were just out in yonder woods or farming countryside.

Some had signs to guide me along the way. Others were just paths through a woods or fields. Of the two, I like a sign or two, so I have some idea where I am walking.

One path I recall was pretty unmarked, but went up through a woods and came out on a mountaintop. I never remember meeting anyone on that path, but my father and I managed to get lost on it. When we were way up among the boulders with no path in site. It was time to turn about and find our way back down to the path. Which we did okay.

One path, even around here a couple of miles from the shore, turned out to be a little spooky. By spooky, I mean I had no real idea where it was taking me, which led me to wonder what ghosts or other critters were watching me. I finally turned around and headed back on the same path to where the Scion waited patiently.

But being partway along a path, after losing sight of the start and not yet coming to the other end, is sometimes quite peaceful. There is nothing quite like being able to look around without other people nearby to wonder at what I’m looking. The last path I was on like that this fall had fallen leaves, a brook nearby, and an interesting way to follow. Sometimes over roots or rocks, and sometimes just along the dirt path with a river off to one side.

It was quiet there along that path.

And the quiet that day made my day.

A little quiet goes a long way.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at
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