When I was a little girl we had "a path" that started at the back of our yard and led into "the woods." My sister and I often followed it down a grade of the hill and to another path that we took down the steeper part of the hill to the creek. If you followed the creek down to a dead end you could go left and go to a place we had named, Clay Town. If you turned to the right you could venture up to a tree that hung out over the creek which we had named, Look Out Point. We could pack our lunch and stay for hours back there. When our cousins would come from "the city" (Cincinnati) we would head into "the woods" to see what excitement awaited. It was always an adventure.
I remember one particular time when my cousin Kame and I went on a MAJOR adventure through the woods determined we didn't need to follow all of the known paths that would lead back home or to Papa and Grandma's. We walked and walked and walked. Now I don't recall being scared or panicked. We probably thought together we could conquer the world. We did finally emerge from the woods but it was not anywhere near home. It was at the end of a road I only knew because my school bus picked up kids there. We kept trudging along now down the known road but we were tired hikers! Once we arrived at the main road we'd decided we'd had enough walking and walked right across the road to George & Billie Carr's house. We told them our story and after a drink of water George told us to hop in his truck and he took us to Papa's.
The important part was that together we made it out of the woods and we made it home. Traveling paths, be they familiar or new, can mean we embark upon an unplanned journey. The joy may be found in our sojourners as mine was that day or an assurance that eventually you will arrive home - as we did.
It'll be 35 years this year that Kame's path led her to her heavenly home. This time she arrived before me and most of her family. The joy along our journey is knowing that we will have eternity together - where I hear the paths are made of gold!