Poetry Month, April 2018: Paths, for Exploration, for Life: 1 Poem and How to Choose Your Path

Updated on September 12, 2018
annart profile image

Ann loves to write poetry and stories. Current poetry on Nature, Travel & beyond, including varied poetic structures.

Follow your Path

Onwards through the Trees
Onwards through the Trees | Source


Paths to places unknown beckon with twisting fingers.

Paths from places well-trodden feed your confident memory.

Paths from people well-loved teach your life’s parameters.

Paths to danger test your inner self.

To find out where those pathways lead

is innermost curiosity.

They may give joy and change our lives

or scarily test our capacity.

Infant paths we trod fearlessly

innocent and trusting all,

Since then paths have beckoned us;

some we flew, sometimes did fall.

Revisit those which mirror thoughts,

nothing feared, the green and red.

Mighty oaks o’er lush meadows,

autumn shades where leaves bled.

I took the tracks with Mum and Dad,

holding hands or leading the way.

Inheritance is my own memory,

paths of joy shout family.

The unknown territory, paths to try,

some seeming fun but many lied,

those paths were trying, shocking, hard

but taught me lessons, a switch-back ride.

Now later on those paths I tread

are threaded through with observation.

Those I lead find their own way,

I try earnestly to feed imagination.

They in turn show me the way

to learn and love and accept life.

Their paths are unknown just like mine

but I can guide, advise, avert the strife

as long as I am able to,

my goal to pass on what I’ve learnt

in the hope that they can see

the pitfalls so they don’t get burnt.

Paths to places beckon them,

paths from the past define their memory,

paths from those who love them well

protect them whilst teaching thoroughly.

May my blessed children follow their own path well.

May my innocent, blessed grandchildren make their own and trail blaze to success.

They are already on the right path.


Which pathways do you choose?

I’ve said a lot about paths, pathways, landmarks, especially around my beloved countryside of Sussex and Somerset.

We all choose our paths and make the most of what we find. It’s up to us to make the most of the paths we are shown, making educated guesses about where we might go and what we might find.

Which one?

Difficult Choice!
Difficult Choice! | Source

How do you choose?

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But it’s not. There are many who don’t choose wisely, some through their own fault but many because they have not been guided well, they have not been given the right advice, the correct lessons.

Our guardians and guides, be they parents, grandparents, whoever, have a hard job. There’s no manual on how to be the ideal parent. We learn by our own mistakes but sometimes it’s too late and consequences have been dire.

Path to my Childhood Home

Eleven Happy Years in this Bungalow
Eleven Happy Years in this Bungalow | Source


The clue in that former paragraph is ‘educated guesses’. It would ease the problem if school were to help with this; sometimes it does, sometimes it is woefully inadequate. Given hypothetical choices to discuss would be a good idea, with no fixed answer because it depends on circumstance, time, opportunity. Merely exploring possibilities gives us some guidance, some preparation.

You don’t know which career to follow. You don’t know if the person asking you to marry him/her is the right one. In my experience, if you’re not sure, don’t do it - yet. Don’t dismiss it either. It might be that it’s not the right time. It might be that you need more knowledge, more life experience, that you need to look at more paths. Further along the journey, often, is where you will find the answers. You might discuss it with trusted friends, parents, mentors. You might ask for spiritual guidance.

New paths on the horizon

Paths can suddenly appear out of nowhere; dangerous ones, exciting ones, enticing ones or easy ones, trusted ones, familiar ones. Ever had a feeling that your life is going nowhere in particular, that you need inspiration, that you need impetus, that you need purpose? Then take that risk but take the path with a balance of risk and care. Be reasoned, measured, weigh the pros and cons, then decide how much risk you are prepared to take.

Hard or Smooth?

Difficult Paths
Difficult Paths | Source
Where will this take Me?
Where will this take Me? | Source


What are the clues? Well, ask yourself this:

Do you feel invigorated?

Do you feel challenged?

Do you feel worthy, able, even if it’s scary?

Then have a go! Do you have anything to lose? If not, go for it! If you have, is the losing worth it? Only you can decide but you will in all probability have a gut feeling which tells you the answer. Go with your gut feeling! Try it! If it doesn’t work, chalk it up to experience because either way you will have learnt something, something which gives you a better chance of better choices next time.

Follow the Track!

From Devil's Dyke to Sussex Weald
From Devil's Dyke to Sussex Weald | Source

Real pathways

How about physical paths; concrete, tarmac, grassy, gravelled, windy, straight, flat, undulating, craggy? Do you enjoy following such paths to see what you can find?

Let’s take the concrete and tarmac paths; the ways of the towns and cities, the footways that lead you round the block, around the shopping arcades, between walls and high-rises. These are pre-determined, rigid, purposeful. Familiarity with them can be comforting to the city-dweller, challenging to those used to green fields and muddy tracks.

What about grass-flattened tracks across the fields, between the hedgerows, round the village? They are more arbitrary. They don’t always lead anywhere other than an open meadow or an abandoned dwelling.

Windy paths can lead you through the trees. You don’t know what’s around the next bend. Does that bother you or does that intrigue? The straight path is visible for some considerable distance, especially if the terrain is level. Is that tedious, liberating or compelling? If your path goes over hill and dale, gently taking you into beautiful pastures or asking you to deal with stony, craggy climbs, do you continue or do you turn back? As with the city adventures, are you comfortable with country scenery and walks or does the wide expanse unnerve you?

Historical Countryside & In Town

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Glastonbury Tor, high above the Somerset Levels - it is said Jesus came here with Joseph of AramatheaMy well-trodden Path to Town
Glastonbury Tor, high above the Somerset Levels - it is said Jesus came here with Joseph of Aramathea
Glastonbury Tor, high above the Somerset Levels - it is said Jesus came here with Joseph of Aramathea | Source
My well-trodden Path to Town
My well-trodden Path to Town | Source

Roots & Attitude

Much of the answer depends on how or where you were brought up, what attitudes were your example and how you dealt with them.

I’m a country girl at heart because that’s where I was brought up. My parents encouraged walking, exploring, learning about plants, trees, country matters. I loved the greenery, the freedom and the fresh air. I still do.

I also feel stifled by exhaust-filled city breath, the noise and the bustle, but I understand that some feel at home in that environment and that is due to their own upbringing, experience and preference.

Sands by the Sea

Paths in the Sand
Paths in the Sand | Source


We can all appreciate each other’s love of town or country, or at least we should. Experiencing both gives us a viewpoint, enables us to choose, enables us to approach both for what they are worth, for what we might need at certain times.

Without that knowledge, we cannot appreciate, we cannot understand, we cannot choose. Our choice of path involves that knowledge and experience but to obtain those things involves taking that first step, taking that risk, having the courage and the will to see what life can offer us down that particular path.

Which path are you comfortable with? Which path would you like to explore? Happy path-finding and happy exploration!


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    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      5 months ago from SW England

      Hello Peggy! Yes, those choices are so hard and it takes experience and the will to learn in equal quantities I think.

      Thank you for reading this; it's some time since I read this myself, I'd forgotten about it!


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 months ago from Houston, Texas

      When I saw this title, the first thing that popped into my head was the poem by Robert Frost. Choosing the right path can be an evolving process. It takes some intelligence and also maturity to choose wisely. We do take our early memories and background with us and then build upon it as we age.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Jo. Yes, there are many paths we can wander at will and quite a few dedicated ones. We are lucky in that much common land is protected and there are many rights of way across farmland, as long as we obey the country code.

      I hope you'll have the opportunity, whatever your age!


    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      2 years ago from Tennessee

      Lovely poem and article, Ann. I'm a country girl, too, and moved back to the country when retired.

      One of the things I loved about your country was all of the walking paths I saw. If I were younger I'd love to come back some day and hike all over your country.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Mark Tulin: Thank you for reading and for your input; much appreciated.


    • Mark Tulin profile image

      Mark Tulin 

      2 years ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thanks for reminding of our many paths and journeys.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Jackie, for your lovely comment. Glad you like the photos too.


    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from the beautiful south

      Very fun and interesting poem (love the flow) and fantastic photos.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Verlie: Thank you for such a lovely comment. I never thought of a photo as a poem but I will now!

      I appreciate your visit.


    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 years ago from Canada

      So thoughtful Ann, all of it, the photos too are poems in themselves. Lovely page.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Hi again, Frank! Thank you for all your posts today, much appreciated.

      No, no comment from John on this one yet.


    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      2 years ago from Shelton

      Ann, again you really put on a poetic show... the concept once again amazing.. Did Jodah ( John ) see this yet? wonderfully penned..

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Nikki, for your kind words and your input; much appreciated. I'm glad you enjoyed this.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, manatita, for your generous comment. Hope the trip is going well.


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Hello Flourish! Yes, there are many youngsters who do not have confidence in themselves or do not even realise that they have talents to put to good use and to succeed. My 17 year-old granddaughter has the usual lack of confidence that goes with teenagers but she has huge support from all her elders so is progressing well (and just passed her driving test yesterday!).

      I appreciate your support; thank you.


    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      2 years ago from London

      Wow,, what an amazing topic and you’ve depicted it very well.Well done my dear, loved all the pictures too.Poetry was great to read. Topic is unique and very interesting at the same time.Some paths chose us, I guess, we can’t do much to avoid them.Some we can choose but sometimes fail to figure out the right one and those paths direct us to failure.

      Some luckily we chose and those paths lead us to our right destination.

      Great read Ann, bless you!

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Extremely well done! A bit of family, sprinkled with the sweet charm of mother nature and blended with some philosophy and educational value.

      I think I said your style was changing and why not? But perhaps you are just showing a side which was always there. I know that the nature and family are, but you added more dignity ... more class.

      Paths? Well, funny enough I'm here in Africa, because the book I read in 1982 which transformed my life, was called ... The Path. Funny eh?

      We are all sojourners or Wayfarers here. Inspiring Hub.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      Such a timely subject with high school graduation looming in my household. My daughter and her friends are choosing their colleges right now out of the schools they’ve been accepted at. Some of her classmates have chosen paths that are very surprising or underwhelming. They don’t always have the support and guidance from a loved one. Sad to watch a brilliant kid pass up phenomenal opportunities because they didn’t believe more strongly in themselves. Many forks in the road.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thanks you, bill! I don't think anyone should be afraid of making the wrong choice, as long as we make measured decisions. Experience does make a lot of difference though, doesn't it?

      That quiz I went to this evening - we came last but it was all fun! I blame the question setter!


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you Eric. I'll wait with interest!


    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      That's right, Mary. It's all down to the individual. That's why it's such a gamble but so interesting! Thank you for your insightful comment.


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the way you write and construct an article.

      Choosing paths . . . it is a dizzying process looking back, but at the time of each choice, it just seemed like the right thing to do for me at that time. I do not spend a great amount of time on decisions. I pull up what experience I have and use that experience to make the next choice, and the next. One advantage I have over some people is I'm not afraid of making a wrong choice, and that gives me a great amount of freedom.

      And with that I will wish you a brilliant evening.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You will hear from me on growing and the path. Very cool subject.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      There is so much to digest in this poem and the article. Sometimes the path has been cleared and the going is easy but there are times when we have to remove obstacles or take risks on a path. Nobody can tell us which, there is only the inner voice in us to assure us it is the one.

    • annart profile imageAUTHOR

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      Thank you, Eric, for such kind words.

      I'm glad you are happy with your present destination; that's what it's all about. I think perhaps we follow paths, reach a destination, stay a while, and then maybe try another path to expand rather than go elsewhere.

      Thank you for the visit; much appreciated, Eric.


    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wonderfully done. Wonderful advice. Great beauty. I had never thought of "Inheritance is my own memory, paths of joy shout family." Truthfully I try to focus on the journey but right now at least I am happy with the destination reached.


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