Obstacles and Opportunities

Those who have been kind enough to spare a few moments to notice my strange interests will be well aware that I like a puddle.

The puddle tells a story, one of rain, sun and wind, but it is not alone and lives as part of a bigger family of obstacles. The fallen tree or branch that blocks our path is so often relegated in our thoughts, if it reaches them at all, to a lowly hindrance not worthy of consideration. But, for those who care to look for them, all obstacles contain a story. Storms, failing ground, disease… what caused the tree to fall? The story will continue after we have made our way past the obstacle too. How long will it be there? Who, if it is not us, will move it and why?

Obstacles are prompts to ask questions. They are opportunities for us to let a short story emerge from our surroundings.

I can remember stepping over a fallen beech sapling on a late night walk a few years ago. By chance I walked the same path early the following morning and found it sawn twice and the section covering the path removed already. What creature of the night?

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