Recently, while at dinner with some close friends, one of them mentioned a quote he had heard recently about paths and highways. I had never heard this particular quote, but as he read it to us aloud, I felt an immediate and intense resonance with it.
“Path: a strip of ground over which one walks. A highway differs from a path not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point with another.
A highway has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points it connects.
A path is a tribute to space. Every stretch of path has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A highway is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time.
Before paths disappeared from the landscape, they had disappeared from the human soul: man stopped wanting to walk, to walk on his own feet and enjoy it.
What’s more, he no longer saw his own life as a path, but as a highway: a line that led from one point to another, from the rank of captain to the rank of general, from the role of wife to the role of widow. Time became a mere obstacle to life, an obstacle that had to be overcome by even greater speed.”
~Immortality, Milan Kundera
So, this – of course – got me thinking about how much of my own life I have rushed past and through to get to some destination or another. In fact, I started to wonder whether I had ever really taken time to focus on the path, exclusively.
Being on the path means being in the moment. Not stressing about the past or worrying about the future… Right now.
Then it occurred to me that there is something that every time I do it, I am able to bring myself into the present moment and focus on what’s going on around me now… hitting the trails with my horse.
Since I am very clear about what the feeling is of riding Jove through the woods or along the river, I am setting an intention – right now – to create that feeling in my day-to-day life. As I wake up in the morning, as I eat breakfast, as I talk to clients, as I connect with my husband… in every moment, I will bring a little bit more of that sensation of inthemomentness (yes, I just made up that word… it works, though, don’t you think?) to my life.
My sense is that you have your own centering, grounding activity that works each and every time, too. What is it? And how can you incorporate that same feeling you get with that activity into the rest of your life? How can we be more on the path than on the highway… right now?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please share it with us by commenting below.