I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, and I’ve never understood why. It isn’t that I don’t believe in rules, because I do. Logic tells me that abiding by good rules is the smart way to live. Having discipline in our lives can make us much better people and give us abundant success, and since I’m a logical person, it would stand to reason I would abide by the rules, discipline myself, and be a success in whatever I choose to do in life. After all, this beautiful river retains its beauty because it follows the riverbed that’s been carved out over thousands of years. If not for the guidance of soil and boulders, the depth and quality of the water would be shallow, filled with sludge, useless. But do I always think about that before I rush into life headlong without a guide?
Nope. In fact, among novelists, I would be called an SOTP person–Seat of The Pants–even though I don’t typically write that way. Right now I’m baking a gluten-free, low carb blueberry-peach cobbler. I have no idea what it’ll taste like, because I didn’t first look for a recipe, I just made it up as I went with the ingredients I had at hand. My poor husband has learned to smile and say “yum” no matter what comes out of the oven. Thanks to experience and knowledge of foods and baking, I even get it right sometimes. Just not always. I tend to be spontaneous.
Do you ever find yourself doing that? Rushing into a situation without stopping to think of the consequences? Do you occasionally like to be spontaneous? Have you ever hopped into your car without the GPS turned on or a map spread across the seat, and just driven to see where the road would take you? Even more dangerous, have you ever taken a hiking trail, then veered from the main trail onto a place less traveled? Throughout my life, I have tended to take that trail less traveled. At times, I’ve been disappointed. At times, I’ve been lost (more times than I’d like to recall).Often, however, I’ve found new vistas I’d never dreamed were there, encountered fresh valleys, wild animals, trickling brooks of pure beauty I wouldn’t otherwise have seen.
Our pictured river, after all, originally made its own way through the mountains, following the path of least resistance. I’m sure the formation of the banks changed over the years, and it’s different from what it once was. So even a river, especially during flood season, enjoys some spontaneity.
I still believe in following the rules, and as I’ve matured I’ve learned to do that more consistently. Still, at heart, I love it when I give in to a spontaneous spirit and explore life, trails, roads, cooking in a new way. I encourage you to try it. Live a little more often, forget the map and wander from the road once in a while. You might be surprised at the new discoveries just around an unknown corner.