Woodland Upgrade

A cobblestone path leads through a dense green forest
“Woodland Upgrade”, 16in x 12in, acrylic on canvas

“Somebody put a path across the path,” I said, stopping in surprise.

You asked what I meant as you came up by my side.

“I mean, they’ve built something you’d expect to find in town. Cobblestones, see? All neatly placed. They even poured cement in between. Or is it concrete? I can never remember.”

“Actually,” you said, looking closer, “that’s mortar.”


“But maybe farther on it’s paved,” I said. “With gutters, signposts, street lights, and—”

“You’re getting ahead of things.”

We looked up and down the narrow lane that crossed our smooth dirt trail. 

“Unless the deer are getting handy with tools, it must be some local who likes to come this way.” You raised one eyebrow. “Shall we see who?”

Would they live up the path or down? Probably down, but we were headed up.

“It does seem well made.” You touched your foot to a square flat stone, placed your weight upon it, then swiveled to face uphill.

Ah. “You’re thinking: We’ll follow this invasive track, find where it leads, and seek its builder some other day.” See how well I know you?

We would judge the creator’s character on the merits of said creator’s work. 

If the path met a traveler’s needs, didn’t stray or make us stumble, stayed within the known world, and led to some worthy end, then we might deign to meet the one who designed it. Maybe invite ourselves in for tea, if biscuits were provided.

So we followed it.

I had to admit, as we walked along, the handiwork suggested the touch of a master experienced with mortar and stone. No lip tripped the foot, no stone wobbled under, and we never feared that the way would vanish as deer paths often do.

Was it hours or years we journeyed that day? 

All I know is I spent too much time appraising the path, trying in vain to dissect its craft, unheedful of trees and flowers that blossomed in glory around us.

All you know, as you told me later: We were not the same at the end.