Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
It took a broken rib to find a better route.
We’ve been living on State Street for over twenty years. Our house is the starting point and destination of three different walking routes: The “Regular Walk”, the “Grant Street Route”, and the “Short Walk”. We know exactly how long each of these walks takes, and we developed our habit of walking them due to the time constraints that accompany full schedules.
For over twenty years we have braved the treacherous village sidewalks so that we could enjoy exercise and fresh air, time alone, time in prayer, and time with friends. But it’s been tough! We have had to navigate cracks and crevasses, lakes and streams, ice and snow. Sometimes the sidewalks have been absolutely impassable!
We lamented, and we satirized, the condition of the sidewalks of Potsdam. But we chose to walk them because they were familiar.
Last November Glen and I took our “OTHER” walk at the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center. We take to the paths there when we have time constraints, but need some time in the woods to recharge. That day we had a little more margin, so we decided to go off the path to check out a rocky ridge further up in the forest.
It was on our way off the little outcrop, as the sun was setting, that the dirt, moss and leaves over the granite ledge slipped out from under Glen like a carpet and left him with a broken rib. It was harrowing, but we made it out of the woods and to the E.R. before night fell.
After a week, Glen was ready to start taking our regular walks again, but we didn’t know how we were going to do it. The sidewalks being unpredictable, he wasn’t in a place where he wanted to risk slipping or tripping. We decided to try taking another route. (We were that desperate!)
Just at the end of our street the campus roads begin. Just at the end of our street! Campus roads and sidewalks that are plowed, salted, sanded, and … maintained! Regularly. Roads we had never, ever, in over twenty years, thought of walking before. Beautiful, wide sidewalks, where we can actually walk side by side.
We needed a little incentive to get off the beaten path. I hope it won’t take a medical emergency next time!