Gather around as I tell the tale of the quest with no map.
Growing up in the country, I often found myself “lost” in the woods. My family owned a lot of acres of land from the old farm that my grandparents parents use to run, so where ever I went, I knew I would be able to find my way back. If I went alone, I didn’t go very far, because honestly, at that time in my life, I was not that brave.
But exploring the unknown with no direction was exciting. I would capture moments in my mind of running water, chipmunks, or just the way the leaves looked.
I had been up to the old family pond once before with my family and Uncle to find a fresh Christmas tree. I was only about 10 years old, so the memories are foggy. What I do remember is riding on the back of his gator across a corn field and into the woods. We had gone all sorts of ways and all of a sudden, the trees opened up and a pond appeared. My memory of this pond was magnificent. It was hugged like a cereal bowl with rolling hills and pine trees. It was beautiful.
I had tried to make my way back one other time since then with Casey, but at that time, the snow was too deep to make it across the corn field let alone into the woods.
So this past Sunday, as I sat at my families traditional Sunday morning breakfast at my Grandmas. I asked my Uncle where that pond was that I remembered so fondly. He took out a napkin and started to draw.
He told me to go to the corner of the corn field, but not the part that gets skinny, the fat part of the field. Climb up the hill and when you get to the top go left. After that you’ll see some pine trees, follow them. Eventually you will be walking down hill and the pond is at the bottom.
I was so excited as Casey and my youngest sister looked at me like I was crazy.
A real adventure that we couldn’t use GPS, trail markers, or maps to find. Just this napkin with some poorly drawn pine trees that really looked like triangles pointing north.
As we walked out to the end of my Grandma’s driveway towards the corn field, I could feel the 10 year old Brittany kicking and screaming in excitement.
As we found the corner of the corn field and made our way up the hill, I took a look back at the long way we had already came and how beautiful the trip was so far.
The hill was over grown with prickers and brush, but we didn’t care. We continued onward and upward until we got to the top, took the left to the pine trees.
At this point questions came up, Are you sure were going the right way? Did we turn to early? Are you sure you know where you’re going?
With all of the questions and doubts beginning to rise, I just kept on. This path hadn’t been walked in years, so the questions were valid but there was a little voice telling me, keep going your on the right path.
I find this to happen a lot in life. Right when you’re about to give up, when you think the path you’re taking won’t get you to where you need to go. All of a sudden, you get there.
As we began to walk down hill, a pond appeared off into the distance.
It has been raining a lot lately, so the pond was over filled but just as beautiful as I remembered it. The hills surrounding the pond were holding it like the cereal bowl I remembered.
As I took out my camera to capture the moment I took a look around to be grateful for the land that had given me so many adventures as a child and to this day.
This pond holds many memories for my family. My grandpa built a lean too where his children could put on their ice skates to enjoy the pond in the winter and bate their hooks in the summer. I looked for signs of the old dock my Grandpa built to fish off of, hoping I could stand out on it. Those things were no longer there but the energy was.
It’s amazing what you can find when you ditch the technology, go off the beaten path and follow your own compass. It can be scary, concerning, and straight up confusing, but what I have found is if you are able to envision where you are going, get general directions from another when needed, and start walking, any way will get you there. But you have to envision it first, believe you are on the right path, even when others may think its nutty, and eventually you will find what you are looking for.