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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – October 6

Searching for a meaningful life is like planting a garden.

My friend Joanna spent the last six months walking the Appalachian Trail, starting in the south and finishing at Mt. Katahdin. I am filled with awe at such a venture and achievement.

Like many people who hike the AT, she took on a “trail name,” in her case Seeker, and her journal of the walk makes good reading.

As I finished reading Joanna’s trail blog the other day I started thinking about how and what we seek. We search to be at peace in our lives and relationships, with the environment and our work. We look for lives filled with love, purpose and meaning, sometimes hunting actively but other times seeking only in a small place in our hearts.

“Seek, and ye shall find;” reads Matthew 7:7, yet this isn’t an easy venture. We may plant wisely or with less than careful attention. Despite all of our planning, forces out of our control cause our seeds not to germinate or our plants to die. Our gardens may grow differently than we’d planned, and we may not notice that we have what we were seeking because they are so radically different from what we intended.

As we plant our gardens and walk down life’s trails, perhaps it’s good to stop now and then, or shake up our routines as Joanna did. It might be useful for us all to reexamine what we seek and how we’re searching. Perhaps we all need to ask, Have I reached the end of that path, only to discover another?

No, not an image from the Appalachian Trail, but from the red rocks of Sedona where I am on vacation, seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.

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