Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Uncharted Trail

“Our dreams are only big enough when they include a miracle …” -unknown

Not too far from our home in Prague, we drive along a highway overlooking a mysterious castle in the near distance. The façade of pale ivory creates a striking contrast with its slate blue roof, and the surrounding dense forest. Even though the city surrounds the castle, the details and whereabouts of how to reach the castle were difficult to find. But last week, in the peak of our recent snows, I packed my D-SLR camera as I loaded up my boys for school, in the chance I might be able to find my way through the snow-laden roads.

With the help of maps and my iPhone, I did find the vicinity of the castle, but a high wall surrounded the whole area. It looked private, and closed, and the difficulty of the Czech language almost kept me back. But just as I turned around to head home, I saw a thick wooden gate in a break in the wall where the gate stood ajar. After parking in knee-high snow, I followed a cross-country skier across the open field, and dared to continue in through the gate. What waited for me on the other side of the wall captivated me with its beauty.

the trail leading to the Star Summer Palace

A trail cut into the dense forest led straight toward what I believed to be the mysterious castle. Because of the frozen fog, I couldn’t see what waited for me at the other end of the trail, about one kilometer long. But I dared to find out. The Letohrádek Hvêzda, or Star Summer Palace (not a castle, like I thought), was far more beautiful than I had imagined, especially in the snow, like a magical scene from a fairy tale.

Somehow, life is like the path leading to the Star Summer Palace. We can’t quite see what it is we are heading for, but we know what we hope to find along life’s path—the fulfillment of our dreams.

When fear creeps in, we rein our dreams back to be smaller and more manageable, allowing less risk, maybe staying only in the safety of what we already know. But when we do that, we miss out on the world of possibility.

Daring to explore the uncharted trail toward a dream much bigger opens up the opportunity of discovering a grand and surprising beauty waiting at the end of the unknown path.

Besides the basic human needs of love and faith, we have the strong need to become, to grow and stretch, to walk down a new path that furthers us as humans, one that helps us to reach our full potential.

Just as the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, the fulfillment of our biggest goals begins by daring to dream. Imagine the grand and surprising beauty that waits on the other end of the journey toward fulfilling life goals. I choose to believe every step along the uncharted trail will be worth it, even when the rewarding end seems far out of sight.

Here’s to taking that first step, and dreaming the big dreams …


Starting the conversation (by leaving a comment below): Do your 2010 dreams stretch you, and pull you down a new path? What difficulty(-ies) almost keep you back?