THE BEST PATH
I couldn’t resist referring to a Metro Newspaper article by Stefan Danis, author of Gobi Runner, regarding the topic of the straight path not always being the fast one. As a runner in desert areas like the Gobi, Sahara, or Atacama, He learned the hard way that mathematically, the simplest path between two points is not necessarily the straight one.
He details this in his writing based on his experience. For instance, with sand being soft, when wind picks it up, it causes a major hindrance while running. He found that if he ran a longer route with a degree off course by being at the advantageous side of a sand dune, where there’s more firm surfaces and rock sediments, he would arrive at the finish line earlier.
Stefan drew an analogy to life’s situation by posing the question, “Have you looked at all the alternative paths to overcome your challenges?” He added, “Ups and downs, twists and turns are the norm we all know.” I saw this in my trek with Gosh Thakur yesterday to get to the summit of a local mountain. We took to the road that was cleared out to make way for an internet tower. It was clearly a zig zag trail, a straight line approach would be impossible for vehicles and a hard one for walkers.
My stay in Saranagati Village, a Krishna community, has been scheduled with visits to various rustic houses with warm people. To reach those destination points, I have the choice to trudge through deep snow, through ditches, while dodging bush and sage brush, or take the road. The safest and quickest route in this case is to follow the snow plowed roads that run more or less on a grid, although less adventurous. I hate to say it, but maybe it’s the wimps trail.
One of the major lessons I’ve learned from walking through the Prairies, where land can be flat and roads being very straight, is that truckers really crave company because for them a straight line to drive on can be most monotonous. When I walked that very direct route in the past like the Trans Canada Highway, truckers commonly stopped to offer me a ride in order to deal with what is perceived as a boring run. Of course, I had to politely decline those offers. Winding roads are a little more exhilarating and can even get you to your destination faster.
Here in the valley I am lucky because when I go that distance from a home to the temple or to the school, I have two buddies, they happen to come along and make the walk more interesting. Ganga and Narashingha are two of the local dogs. The nature of a dog is to accompany you whether you beeline it or move in curves. God bless the loyal dog! And thank God for the safe and practical route.
May the Source be with you!