Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Across the Rusty Bridge: Hello Unknown!

I have made the walk from Bontoc to Sagada a few times now. It's beautiful. The road runs along a winding mountain river. Green mountains tower up on either side. Rice terraces flow down the mountain side like the steps of some long gone race of giants.

It's an easy walk really. A smooth, paved road, everyone takes it. However, on my last walk, I noticed a rusty suspension bridge to the other side of the river for the farmers and the faint wisp of a trail cut into the green mountains.

I have a personal dictum. "Always choose the unknown". Its inspired by a book by Osho entitled 'Courage'. The Unknown is where learning, experience, wisdom, adventure and indeed life take place! Yet, indeed, to leave our comfortable well worn road of patterns, places and people-- the Known-- it takes Courage. With a capital C.

A rickety suspension bridge separates the nice paved road and the other side where the farmers labour with oxen and hand tools on the rising steps of the ancient terraces. I stood there for a good five minutes trying to decide what path to take!

My dictum called to me over my fears and the beckoning coziness of comfort.

With a leery first step I stepped out on the bridge. You can see right through the rusted iron to the river far below. The entire structure shuddered in the wind. The bridge was oddly symbolic to me this day. To live or not to live? The unknown or the well worn path?

My sweaty hands grasped firm the rickety iron railings the whole way over to the other side. As I stepped onto the grass on the other shore, I beamed. An epic hike of aliveness, trial, tribulation, dead ends, victory, leaps, scratches and heart thumping, leg shaking moments awaited me.

Alive I am!

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