I’m awake before dawn this winter morning, the first day of February, with too many thoughts to sleep through.
A couple inches of new snow fell here on Beaver Island, the night before last.
We’d had a warm day, a little melting and considerable wind before that.
The path I followed down Cotter’s Trail, created by tramping through the snow twice a day, had been obliterated.
No deeply patterned tracks from my winter boots.
No paw prints, large or small, in the fresh snow.
There were no traces of rabbit or deer or coyote.
No patterns showing the route snowmobiles took.
Just pure white, unblemished snow all the way.
A little intimidating, too.
I thought of the distance between footfalls, the curve of the new path we were creating and whether my tracks looked as if I were walking “pigeon-toed”. It seemed like a lot of responsibility, being the first one down the trail.
I feel that I’m making new paths in my life, as well.
That has happened before, off and on over the years.
I like to think of myself as a fairly steady person.
I don’t jump in and out of relationships. Friendships are forged for a lifetime. I’m pretty steadfast in whatever job I am doing.
It doesn’t feel like I’m digging a hole, just traveling the same path each day, until change is upon me.
Whether the need for change comes from outside forces or from within, it comes with a whole host of varied emotion.
There is the realization that I have, in fact, dug a little rut by following the same route for so long. It takes a little extra effort to veer from the path.
There is exhilaration, excitement, that adrenalin flow of new adventure and new possibilities.
Finally, there is anxiety.
Whether it’s an untouched canvas, a different job, a new friend or an unblemished snow-scape, I want the marks I make to be good ones.
That’s why I’m up before the sun this morning.