The New Year 2018 offers you more challenges, superb ideas
and incredible ‘moments’ in your fascinating journey through life.
Some things you may plan and others will be imposed upon you. In
the end, each teaches a lesson or brings a gift depending on your attitude.
This story occurred in my youth. While cycling down a country road
in LeRoy, Michigan, I crossed paths with a wise man.
Forks in the road, stop signs, cul de sacs and dead ends on the highway
While taking a ride down a country road near dusk in my teens, an old
farmer, plodding along with his walking stick, abruptly stopped me.
His wrinkled-weathered skin did not diminish the energy in his clear blue
eyes. Silver locks flowed from his wide-brimmed hat while his peppered
beard gave him a majestic air of wisdom.
(Food is fun! The devil made me eat the whole salad bar! As
you pedal, the energy of horizon-sky transforms your spirit. You look
to the heavens and see peace. Keep your body, mind and spirit in
balance in order to live and enjoy a marvelous life. Frosty Wooldridge,
coast to coast, 2017.)
“Where you goin’ sonny?” he asked.
“Just taking a ride to catch a few fire-flies when the night settles in
on us,” I said. “They seem to show their magic just as the sun goes
down, but before the stars come out. I like the way they turn the
long grass into street lamps, but none of the city noise to go with it.”
“Should be a lot of them out this evening as soon as the red-winged black
birds fall silent,” he said. “So, if you don’t mind my asking, where
are you going with your life?”
“My mom wants me to go to college,” I said. “She said it will give
me a leg-up on living as well as make me a better educated man.”
“Good for you,” he said. “But what do you want to do with your life?”
“After I graduate from college,” I said, “I want to travel the world before
settling down to a job. I want to figure out some things about this
“Do you mind a few suggestions?” he asked.
“My dad told me to listen to my elders to learn their knowledge,” I said.
“The path to your destiny has “forks in road” that require the imperfect
ability to discern the difference between opportunity and pitfalls,” he
said. “You will make mistakes in judgment. You will fail often.
But remember to make those failures into stepping-stones toward your ultimate
success. Never get down on yourself. None of it comes easy, but it gets
easier as you travel the path with a good attitude, application by work
and your ingenuity.”
“My dad said something like that,” I said.
“Smart dad,” he said. “In addition to “forks” there will be “cul
de sac's” or “dead end's” where you rest and re-evaluate the route you
“Everyone comes to these markers at some point. You will become wiser.
Experience teaches the best lessons. So, if you find yourself going
down the wrong road, or the people and places along the road aren’t working
for you, turn around and go back. When you return to your original location,
strike out in a new direction with the wisdom you learned while you traveled
along the wrong road.”
“That works for me,” I said.
“As a young man, you are heading toward your “destiny,” he said. “To me
the term “destiny” implies a pre-ordained purpose by some higher power.
This implies a personal belief in that higher power. That may or
may not work for you. It also implies that one's “destiny” answers
the question, ‘Why am I here?’ You will find out on your journey.”
“Another thing,” he said. “Your mom is right...choose your friends
carefully. You will adopt some of their characteristics into your personality.
When you hang with the smarter, more responsible folks in your school,
you become more like them and succeed like them.
“Additionally, memories of your experiences are what come to you in those
future quiet times. Make sure you accept yourself at all times.
Even if you are not sure, assume a sense of confidence in your own talents
whatever they might be or come to be.
“Some memories will be filled with regret and some will be joyous.
You will gain friends and lose friends. Some friends will lie to
you and others betray your trust. Forgive all of them. You will
have many interesting moments in your life. You get to choose the number
of each by the way you live. And, one final thought from my days of meditations
on hay bales and sitting beside a quiet pond with dragon flies, turtles,
snakes and muskrats: everything you become, you chose. And, everything
you chose, you wanted.”
As the fireflies lit the long grass, the old man tipped his hat before
continuing on into the gathering darkness.
“Thank you, sir,” I said, as I pressed the pedals through the magic of
fireflies and stars twinkling in the night sky.
FB page: Frosty Wooldridge
FB adventure page: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring
FB poets page: Bicycling Poets
FB unique moments page: Bicycle Touring Unique Moments
Latest book: Living Your Spectacular Life by Frosty Wooldridge,
a book on the methods for living a dynamic, happy and healthy life. Amazon
and/or 1 888 280 7715
This excerpt from my forthcoming book: The Book of Wisdom and Joy
by Frosty Wooldridge, publishes June, 2018