after four days of heavy rain, this morning greeted me with sunshine and with just enough degrees celsius for me to take out my bike and ride 8 kilometers to work. it would be a much needed exercise after last night, when i tortured my spine with playing urban terror online for four hours straight into the midnight.
on the way to work, i always take my favorite of the three possible roads. it is the longest and the most pleasant one, the one that takes me for a ride along the river and the woods.
there is something serene in riding your bike early in the morning and occasionally closing your eyes for a few seconds, every time the road gets lonely. this morning, i felt like i was superman, charging my powers through my face into my body, while bathing in the september sun.
one kilometer away from my office, there's a fork in the road. there are two paths, both unpaved, and both dirty. this morning, my first instinct was to take the more trafficked one, the one everybody else would take, the one i *never* take because it's boring and easy. but this morning, i thought to myself: both paths must be full of potholes now, filled with four days' worth of heavy rain. the more trafficked road is wider, it should be easier to cross. my usual path is muddier, i don't want to get stuck and fall off my bike into the mud. although that would make a good story, i'm happier with this one i got to write instead.
so first, i took the path more traveled. after only 20 meters on it, this story gets as figurative as it is literal.
the more trafficked, the more popular, the wider of two paths, has deeper and bigger potholes, created by the cars of many unsuspecting drivers, driving the same path for decades. as long as the sun is shining, you never see how deep the potholes go. it's only during or after heavy rain do you see the path's many dangerous features. but only a few decide to walk any paths after many days of heavy rain. the dangerous features remain completely invisible to people riding inside their seemingly safe cars. but the path more traveled has many potholes - some are so big and deep, that one could damage his car if driving too fast - even when the sun is shining. only a slow-riding or walking person, mindful of the features of the path she is on, gets to see the more popular path for what it really is.
and so i turned my bike and took the path less traveled - the one i always take, the one i was at first afraid to take today. sure, there was one part of the path where i could easily end up in the mud, because the path was completely covered with water. but i let my inner voice encourage me, i made it loud and let it speak to me:
"just drive. just drive steadily and very slowly, and drive right through the middle of the widest pothole you come across. this path really is less traveled by everybody else, but it is also safer for you, you know why? because luckily, you already know this path. because you weren't afraid to walk it by foot just six days ago, when the path was still mostly dry. and this morning, when there are muddy potholes on your path, all those silly walks begin to pay off. this morning, you know exactly just how deep all those potholes go."
as it turns out, the potholes on the path less traveled are actually shallower than everybody else thinks. because there is no traffic to make holes in it.