Have you ever been lost?
Although it’s tempting to answer these questions in a spiritual sense; I’m speaking in a physical, not a philosophical sense here.
More like, I don’t know where I am right now and need directions kind of lost.
As a wandering soul and curious photographer, I have a tendency to get distracted, and distractions have a way of leaving me wondering where how I ended up wherever I am.
Some might call this a weakness. I find it keeps things interesting and so I hold it up as a character strength, not a flaw.
Recently while wandering, I took a wrong turn. Maybe I shouldn’t call it a wrong turn, but perhaps an unplanned turn. While on a journey from one point to another I felt an urge for an adventure and started down a road I had not intended to travel. For a little while I would even say I was lost.
I didn’t know where I was or where the road would take me. I had no cell service so I couldn’t pull up a map to help me. Perhaps a wiser man would have stopped and turned around.
I kept driving.
This wasn’t the first time I put myself in this situation and I can confidently say it won’t be the last. Each of these mini treks turns out differently and not always for the better. It’s never reckless and always a calculated risk, however, so a chance I’m willing to take.
My reward is a sense of simple accomplishment when I navigate back to civilization and even greater when I have a camera full of photographs to document the new sights I encountered.
But what the camera doesn’t bring back are the soul-stirring moments or the emotional return I get for an investment of time and willingness to take a chance.
On this particular path I encountered an opportunity for solitude and a chance to reflect on several challenges I faced.
I witnessed a raptor of unknown origin assist a rodent in understanding the circle of life.
I felt the pleasure of doing nothing and resting for a while afterwards.
I captured some photogenic landscapes and a few idealistic moments posing perfectly just for me.
All in all, this detour was a positive one.
Now we can talk for a moment about getting lost philosophically.
I understand the need for direction and goals. I appreciate the importance of having a plan when traveling through this life towards a specific destination. As emphasized by many a motivational speaker; if you don’t know where you are going, how do you know when you get there and how do you know if you are on the right path for success?
Setting goals and having a purpose for getting up in the morning and doing what you do is very important.
But I also find that nothing helps me to appreciate my surroundings more than daring to take a little detour now and then and see if perhaps by “coloring outside the lines” I might get the boost I need to keep the creative spirit alive.
Can you see the benefit to taking advantage of letting go for a period of time? Does it benefit you to loosen the constraints of a well-planned day and let things happen as they will, just for an afternoon?
I can’t speak for you, but I don’t do well in a rut. I’m looking forward to my next chance to turn the wrong way.