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  • Betty Girardeau


For my entire life I have found paths, trails, and roads that have beckoned to me. What is beyond view or around the bend? Sometimes, when I have taken a picture like the one above, I already know the answer. But the story in the image doesn't tell the viewer that. As a child and young adult I usually would not consider the implications of what could happen to me if I followed that trail, especially when I was out on my own. I grew up in a small town at a time when children were allowed to go out and play and explore. And I spent many hours walking through the woods near my house. I also loved to bike along the roads of the town cemetery which had been laid out during the days when such places were designed more like "cities of the dead," including street signs, and in some cases when the owners of the plots had a lot of money, the monuments were like little houses or chapels. As an adult I still found exploration tantalizing. This desire was somewhat dampened one day when I decided I wanted to explore a road not that far from my house. I had driven the main road many times and loved the houses in that neighborhood. So one day I decided to turn off the main road and see where the side road would take me. That was not a good idea in this instance. I should have recognized that this was becoming risky when the pavement ended. But there was still a gravel road, sort of. That one became more and more narrow. And then, there was no more gravel, and what had been a road became nothing more than a trail, and a rather muddy one at that. There was nowhere to easily pull in and turn around. And I quickly found that backing up was not an option because the back wheels only spun around when I tried. Too bad. And what was worse was this was long before the days of cell phones. My only option was to walk back up to where the houses were and see if someone would allow me to use their phone to call my husband. Suffice it to say, he was NOT happy with me. But he did come and together we got my car out without the help of a tow truck. But I certainly heard a lot from him about "What were you thinking?" Well, I really was thinking, but it was adventurous thinking. It was a teaching experience...up to a point. Since then, when alone, I have tried to consider the risks, but mostly tried to be with others when I see that beckoning a road or path beckoning. But I doubt that I will ever stop wanting to explore.

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