Spring has sprung in Colorado … with a snowstorm that dumped about 4 feet of snow. The snow was heavy and wet, and the snowplow could not clear our driveway. We live remotely and clearing 1200 feet of driveway by hand was not realistic. But we had food, the house was warm, and we hunkered down inside.

Spring snow in Colorado

Our middle son contacted my wife and asked her “are you keeping Roel busy?” He knows me better than I thought, because after two days I got cabin fever and felt an urge to be outside and move. So I started digging trails in the snow, which was hard work. When the trails would extend about 30 feet from our house, I became aware that they could impossibly go anywhere, and abandoned trail after trail. After a while, trails were extending in all directions from our home, and each of them ended in a wall of snow 4 feet high. From the air, the house must have looked like an octopus with tentacles extending into white nothingness.

I decided that the next day I would dig a circular trail in the snow. In that way I could walk forever, and like Winnie the Pooh be amazed and amused by how many side trails would join my trail. I discussed this with my lovely wife Idske who pointed out that this trail would keep me busy, but it would not take me anywhere. She had a point … and then she suggested to dig a labyrinth in the snow instead. I love walking the labyrinth, which is a meditative practice. Even though a snow labyrinth would not take me anywhere physically, it would take me on a path inside. It was a brilliant plan!

When the next day arrived, I did not create a snow-labyrinth because we decided to blaze a trial down our driveway so we could connect to the road, and hence to the outside world. In the process we trampled the pristine snow on the driveway, which was the only flat place to create a labyrinth. My friend and running buddy David picked me up later that day at the bottom of the driveway, and we went for a great run, and some grocery shopping. The cabin fever was gone!

This story has such great symbolism. Blazing a trail through heavy snow is hard work, and much of our efforts in life take considerable work. Given the effort that it takes, what type of trail are you blazing in your life? Are you blazing individual trails that are dead ends? Are you following the same trail time and time again by going around in a circle? Is your journey inward focused instead of outward focused? Or are you blazing a trail that takes you somewhere? We fortunately don’t all face the aftermath of a blizzard, but we all make choices how to spend time and energy. What type of trail are you blazing?

Roel Snieder

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