Getting there- what is your path style?

My camera and I went for a walk in Golden Gate Park yesterday- the lower section on the park below 25th Ave. Part of the park I had not really explored yet. I was there for several reasons-

1. it was a really beautiful day
2. I had not had a chance to take pictures all week
3. I was looking for a blog topic for today
4. I was really in need of some time in the wilderness-plants, trees, space

Partners on the Path by Cheryl McDonald

So this is a tale of my wanderings through the park-

To start off with, I want to say that there is a lot going on in my world- I am not alone, there is just a whole of change and turmoil going on in all of our worlds- if your life is free and easy at the moment you are definitely in the minority- enjoy it and be grateful for it. As for me, I am learning to be grateful for change, turmoil and chaos.

So yesterday as I wandered through the park, I allowed my mind, my heart and my vision to wander- no expectations, just open to the possibilities. I started noticing all of the different kinds of paths that run through this park and I realized that there were path styles for all types of personalities.  My first thoughts about paths go straight to my new-age, woo-woo side- you know “we are all on the path”, “following our path”- and it started me thinking about what kind of path do I choose to take? So this is a photo essay about paths.

Walking down the sidewalk by Cheryl McDonald

There were the strict, sidewalks, with lot’s of rules and directions that go around the outside edges of the park.

Victory Dance, by Cheryl McDonald

The streets and sidewalks that meander through for those who want to take a quick jaunt through the park on their way to other places- sometimes just driving through the park can reduce ones blood pressure by several points! This is good for bike and baby carriages and keeping the little ones out of the mud.

Bees and Poppies by Cheryl McDonald

Planted beds with beautiful arrays of flowers, bushes and trees. Well kept and bursting with blooms.

Top of the Heap by Cheryl McDonald

Then there are the paths that lead to various event areas, the turtle pond or the fly casting pond or the equestrian park. There are so many activities that happen in this park it is absolutely amazing to me! To the point- direct routes from the parking lots that are close by.

Through the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

And then there are the foot paths that meander through the forest, less traveled and more over-grown. The paths that lead you into the awesomeness of the forest, the sounds of the birds, wildflowers, smells of the trees and the grasses. This is where you can connect with Mother Nature in a one-on-one, or hear your own thoughts.

Through the grass by Cheryl McDonald

It is always possible to go completely off the path as well.

So what kind of path person am I? I guess it depends on the day. More and more I am the person on the foot path meandering through the forest. Looking to find my own way, but not quite ready to take off running through the brush. I guess I do like a little direction in my life and I trust that it will be interesting enough to keep my attention but not so untamed as to be filled with too many surprises-  Roots, weeds, and unexpected turns, yes, sharp cliffs, blind curves, or bears- no. I like to think of myself as a daredevil, but I guess I am a lot more in need of stability than I thought. The footpath through the forest, gives me the feeling of space, with the security of knowing that someone else has been here before.

Elmo's Foiled Escape by Cheryl McDonald

So where does all of this lead? That is for you to decide. What kind of path are you on and are you happy with the direction it is going? If not maybe it is time for a walk in the park!

All images are by  Cheryl McDonald and if you like this blog, please subscribe! Thank you for reading!


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18 Responses to “Getting there- what is your path style?”

  1. Dianne DelReyes Says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    I just love this post… I love how you integrate your photo journey and your head journey along the way…

    I can so appreciate where you are in space right now, because I am so there with you…

    I love your discovery of the different paths we can take to help us find our way and to know that there are other ways to do it… other paths to journey along…

    I was thinking how important it is that while we are on our unique paths to stay aware of what surrounds us and to find gratitude and beauty there…

    Thanks for your share…

    Much Peace,

  2. Lisa Ann Landry Says:

    Hi Cheryl,

    Your photographs are so beautiful I feel like I’m at the park with you. How timely to be able to read this after my bike ride in the park yesterday. It made me reflect on the path that I took.

    The path is 14 maybe 15 miles long and I always go the same route (doesn’t that say something about a person). Yesterday I decided to go the opposite direction of what I would normally go. What a wonderful surprise! I got to see a whole new perspectives, see things I had never seen and get closer to nature than the other path allows (what delightful surprise await us when we change our paradigm) .

    All the while (30 minutes in one direction) I had to tinkle! I seriously thought about going into the woods and leaving my mark but I stayed on the path (this is significant for me because sometime when I change directions I don’t stick with it long enough to payoff).

    Boy am I glad I stayed on that path! I was so focus on all the beauty all around me I never looked done on the ground until I headed back. The edges of the path on both sides was covered with slugs, BIG HUGE SLUGS, 100s! I’ve never seen so many! Lesson learned while the path less traveled is exhilarating new frontiers come with unexpected surprises.

  3. Mary B. Peterson Says:

    Really enjoyed your photo essay. I, too, am “learning to be grateful for change, turmoil and chaos” in my life. Being active outside is a great way for me to step away from the chaos and to reconnect with nature. Your photos were a perfect addition to the writing — we were there with you!
    I am the same as you — “The footpath through the forest, gives me the feeling of space, with the security of knowing that someone else has been here before.” Great way to describe it.

    Mary B. Peterson

  4. Laura Hollick Says:

    What a delightful adventure you’ve been on!
    I love your photos they spark my creative mind to start wandering and seeing what is presented on my path.

  5. Irene Turner Says:

    I’m with you…when things are in such turmoil, I like to shut down and take a walk. Nature soothes the soul, and while my mind may seem turbulent, it actually is resting and soaking in all the negative ions! Aren’t we lucky to live in a place of such beauty where it is easy to see clearly now the rain is gone? Good path!

  6. Tanya Boggs Says:

    I loved your descriptions of all the paths. I’m with you, what path I take depends on the situation or the mood I’m in. But most of the time I want to be on the meandering footpath, and occasionally maybe even off the path, if possible. But if I’m in turmoil or chaos I’d prefer the paved direct route please. 😉

  7. Sharon Hiebing Says:

    I find that when I have a lot on my mind, when I’m experiencing some kind of turmoil or need to make a big decision, that there’s no better place to go than somewhere surrounded by nature. I hope your path leads you to where you want. This was a thoughtful and well laid out blog, Cheryl. Really well done!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Creating Wealth through Caring & Connecting

  8. Lee Lonitz Says:

    It’s amazing the perspective we can get by simply looking around us, and it makes me want to be more observant on my next walk through the neighborhood park. I think your thoughts also lend valued insight into that proverbial question “if a tree in the middle of the forest falls, does it make a sound?” Perhaps it depends on what path you’re on!


  9. Deborah Tash Says:

    The journey along each path
    Can change from day to day
    Finding the landscape of the internal dialog
    Reflected in the surroundings of each moment
    of song
    of people met
    of stories shared
    of random happenings
    of work and passions
    All the expected wrapped in mystery
    Putting one foot in front of the other


    I love your blog. You made a walk in the park a special happening and your photos captured the mood so well. Thanks for the invitation to read your thoughts and see your images.


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