Dirty Little Pathways

Where I work, we have developed a kind of strange little habit- we like to keep our people on clean and clear paths. We usually do this by covering up the grass or dirt with concrete. These clean and clear paths seem to be multiplying like rabbits.


However, people being people, they really like to walk the shortest route between point A and point B, so dirty little pathways are always popping up in a new location and what do we do about that? Glad you asked, we start building a new clean and clear path.


Today I joked with the fellow getting ready to pour some concrete to transform a dirty little path into a clean and clear path, “You know they are just going to keep walking straight onto the lawn and you will need to build a new path.” He said, “That’s what I told them.”

At the current rate, our campus should be one big clean and clear path by 2030. Why is that?

It seems we simply don’t like messy, dirty paths and of course, when the path is muddy, people will expand the path by walking next to the mud. I think this is called a conundrum.

Yet, there is something very wrong with clean and clear paths, both in landscaping and in life. It is a sterile solution. In landscaping it is an attempt to conquer nature, such as the way we present our public gardens and parks. Nature wants to revert to, well, nature and we fight against it. In life, oh how I hate surprises and things I can’t control. Still those dirty, messy paths are where Life is real, rewarding, and mysterious. The sidewalks of life are for the weak of heart and spirit and for those who are controlled by an overwhelming sense for control and a need to project themselves as clean and clear individuals. I am not clean and clear, nor are my friends and family and I love them dearly for being so, even when we are on our  little confusing, surprising, non-linear, paths.

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