I've been combing over this section of the Mississippi River for at least a couple of decades now, so I've seen all its secret pathways, hidden falls, and lonely grottoes.
Or so I thought!
Sometimes in life there are little things, not even that little, laying right out there in the open, that we can miss for minutes or weeks, years or decades, or even, unknowing, forever.
What will we go to the grave missing?
And so like when one looks desperately for one's glasses in increasing upset only to suddenly note them alone on a large desk that one's eye passed blithely over a hundred times in the fervor of the search, the world is peppered with the obvious and unseen. Perhaps every day you trod over floorboards covering a box full of old and valuable gold and silver coins hidden by a previous tenant. Perhaps up until a month ago you thought a pony was a baby horse. Perhaps you are only now realizing that "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" is set to the same music as "The Alphabet Song".
And so it was for me when I walked along a section of the paved Mississippi River path in Minneapolis along the river road. I kept looking for a path, official or otherwise, that worked down the bluff into the woods and to the shore below. But that section is so steep that there aren't any paths for a curiously long time. So when I finally found an old, stone staircase, probably put in during the CCC days, I took it in its rough way down. And then, even though I figured I would be bushwhacking and ultimately retreating the way I came, I turned back to head downstream on the river towards my home.
I found a wide path, along the sumptuous shoreline and curiously hidden in the deep woods, that was really more like a country road. It was wide, well laid, and extremely easy to walk on. It was picturesque and lovely. And after a mile or so it hooked back up clearly with an exit to the road and bridge where I needed to go. I can literally see that exit, or entrance, to this path from where I sit typing this right now!
How did I miss this?
How did I miss this!
Sometimes at the library people look for ages and cannot find their book. They ask for help and I find it immediately because I am a professional. I'm happy to be of service. Then they become very upset at themselves:
"How did I miss this!" They cry out in agony (yes, I am exaggerating a little for effect).
And I tell them, and myself now, the only thing worth knowing in relation to this sort of thing at this point:
"The past is done.
It is a time now only for rejoicing."