October 13

DOING and LEARNING in Eswatini — FOLLOWING

DOING and LEARNING in Eswatini — FOLLOWING

Following the Path on the Mountaiin

In Eswatini I live in a small apartment on the edge of the developed sections of Mbabane, the administrative capital.  Behind my apartment is a mountain with huge boulders.  When I arrived in Eswatini, my neighbors told me that there were marked paths to the top where the view was beautiful.

I love to hike and to see new things, so one morning, I left my apartment to climb the mountain. Near my apartment, I was following the paths of workers coming from the valleys on other side of the mountain. More than one path crossed the mountainside, perhaps cows had made some of the paths when they were looking for extra grass and a drink in the pond near the apartment. My neighbors had advised me that I should be following the path with the yellow dots.

Following the yellow dots seemed like a good idea. It let me know that I was still following the right path and reassured me that I was not lost.

 

Following the Yellow Dots

 

Higher up the mountain, following the yellow dots meant leaving the well-travelled path. It meant I was no longer following the path where the daily workers walked.  It meant that even the cows were not often following these paths (just enough to leave evidence of their passage).  Following the yellow dots also required seeking the next reference dot.  My searching led to finding some unexpected and unmarked viewpoints, unusual plants and interesting details along the way to the top of the mountain.

 

A View from the Top

 

The views from the top gave a different perspective on the region. Those views were worth the challenge of searching for the yellow dots and the physical effort of following the path.  The path with the yellow dots did not end at the mountain top and following the path down did not end the searching for yellow dots.  The yellow dots for the path to the top had been visible from below.  A descending path required a different series of yellow dots visible from above.

Searching for the yellow dots and following the path that others had established made me eager to share the path and to climb the mountain again with my wife and friends. I also recognized that FOLLOWING the path marked with yellow dots was an example for my work and life.  Sometimes I need to trust the work of others, who have prepared paths that make my FOLLOWING easier.  I also recognized that I was creating paths, which others could be FOLLOWING to achieve new goals.

Some people FOLLOWING my paths would need the paths to be as well marked as the trails at the bottom of the mountain. Other people would be FOLLOWING paths in difficult terrain, and I needed to assure that the dots marking the path were visible.  I also realized that people FOLLOWING my paths may use their own freedom and imagination to find easier or more beautiful paths to reach their goals, and that I would want to try FOLLOWING those new paths.