Lost in the Familiar


There’s a particular part of Pine Trail at Jacks Peak Park that crosses the road near the park’s east side—a Bermuda Triangle sort of part of the trail. Each of the few times I’ve walked it and have come to its end, arriving on Rhus Trail, I can’t figure out which way is which. I say to myself, “You know this park, Tricey. (That’s what Michael and Marion call me.) You’ve walked her several times a week for more than a couple years.” I won’t write what I say next, but let’s just say, it isn’t pretty. That’s when the old parental voice with its litany of shoulds comes parading its dirty rags.

The time before last when I felt lost I was kinder. What is that Buddha said? Something like, “If you don’t extend compassion to yourself, you’re not compassionate.” That time, instead of being critical, I laughed a little, said, “Yup, you don’t know which way to go. It’s okay; walk one way, it’s that’s not right, why take the other.” Much better.

Yesterday, when I took that walk I didn’t worry for an iota of a second, even though, as before, I was uncertain. I crossed Rhus and started up another trail that I didn’t recognize until, a few seconds later, I did! “Sage Trail,” I said, and turned around and knew just which way would get me home in time to teach.

The thing about being lost to remember, even when we think we shouldn’t be lost, is to be relaxed about it. That’s the first step to being found. You might write or dance or draw a picture of being lost and what that’s like for you.