The Path Not Taken


I went for a walk around the place today and as I emerged from one of the little paths we’ve cut through the trees I turned to look back. I could see the path clearly for a ways and then it branched and one side disappeared into the brush. I was standing there considering whether to go back and take the other path just to see what I’d missed when it occurred to me, that would be a nifty trick in life. Haven’t you wondered how your life would be different if you had taken that other path?

So, I did. I drove into town and rented a time machine. It’s a really good deal because you can keep it as long as you want and return it at the same time you pick it up. I brought it home, plugged it in, and turned it on. Once it was all booted up, it asked to when did I want to go. I pondered this question a long time. How far back was far enough; how far was too far?

I went back to that day in junior high when I stopped doing something I loved because someone made fun of me. This time I chose not to listen. I followed that path to its end and it was a good path. I went back to that day when I decided not to enlist in the military. This time I proudly signed my name. I followed that path and it too was good. I went back to the day I dropped out of college. This time I determined to see it through. I went back and followed my bliss without listening to the doubts of others. Time after time I went back and made different choices, different decisions. I acted and reacted differently in certain situations.

What I discovered was that along each path there were times of sorrow and times of joy, periods of struggle and stretches of leisure, successes, failures, accomplishments and regrets. Each path had its rewards and each held a price. In the end I understood the path I’m on is exactly the right path for me, and what matters is not the choices I made but those I’m going to make.

Happy trails and good travels.


Tim Couch

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