trail-treeOne of my favorite things about living in the Appalachian Mountains is hiking them. We live near a national forest riddled with trails that offer miles and hours of rambling. And so Thistle and I do just that.

A few weeks ago one of the regular trails was blocked when a HUGE pine tree fell across it. An impediment. Getting around required a longish detour through rhododendron, so I just shoved some branches aside and crawled over the trunk. No big deal.

But on Monday I discovered that someone had taken the initiative to carve out a new trail that winds over toward the creek and around the fallen tree. It’s further, sure, but it’s lovely.

I took the new route, enjoying the scenery and admiring how meticulous the trail builder had been, until I got to the place where it intersected with the old trail. There, I saw that the trail blazer had placed brush across the old trail to redirect traffic.

And what was my first thought? Something along the lines of–I’ll use the old trail if I want to!

There’s something about being told I can’t do something that makes me want to do it all the more. (I’m hoping that’s not just me.)

It got me thinking about impediments in my life. Unexpected blockages or hurdles in my path that I’m tempted to climb over. Even when there’s a perfectly good route around them. It’s as though I can’t give in to the practical, the easy, the straightforward. I have a plan and by golly I’m going to see it through.

Taking the new path this week reminded me that sometimes you don’t have to do a thing the hard way. Sometimes, it’s okay to take advantage of that winding trail work and just enjoy the detour.