OK, it’s not a real fable. But it is a story.
Two Sundays ago, as I wandered south, I came on the Green Mountain Raceway, an abandoned horse racetrack I had seen in a distance many times as I traveled to other places. Rather than pass it by one more time, I decided to see if I could get in to it.
It is a thing I love to do, find, explore, and photograph abandoned places. I am sure there is some deep psychological reason for my love of these buildings that are slowly coming undone, but that is not the purpose of my fable. Just know I do this often.
At times, I have to seek out that one place in a fence or wall that will let me in. Often, that takes some work. Most of the time, however, there is a way in, and most of the time, I find it.
Entry to the old race track turned out to be easy. There were broad roadways on each end of the track, maybe a half-mile away, that came out to the main road, Route 7. A ten-foot-high chain-link fence surrounded the place, and on the road before the chain-link gates were these long, high concrete barriers that prevent cars of any sort from getting through.
So parked the car next to the barriers and walked to the fence. Clearly, others had been there before me. On some of the sections of fence, the chain link had been pulled loose and pryed back. I could walk right through the skeleton and did just that. There was not a single no tresspassing sign to be seen. I am sure the owners thought a ten-foot-high fence was enough.
I’ve talked about the empty space in previous posts, I had a blast, But that is not the moral of this snippet of writing either.
So I had a blast, took a couple hundred pictures, and made my way back to the car. I got to the skeleton of a fence and walked back through. Just as I got to the fence another car pulled up and a young couple got out.
I could tell what was going on. They wanted to find their way to the abandoned race track. They had figured out this was the way. They stood on the far side of the concrete barriers and gazed longingly up the road as I stepped lightly through the framework of the fencing. Then, as I approached the barriers, they looked down sadly, and got back in their car and drove off.
I was more sad than they were. I don’t know what kept them from giving it a go. I have no idea why they came so close, with the way so clearly marked, with even the sight of me easily making my way out, camera in hand.
I don’t know what kept them from the adventure, but I was sad that they chose not to step into it. Adventures, large and small, are one of life’s great pleasures and we become richer and deeper and wiser for each one we take.
And we become diminished for each one we don’t.
At least that has been my experience.
The next time an adventure comes your way, just take it. Walk through the fence. Don’t miss out. Don’t be sad. Don’t end up berating yourself for not taking it. Not all my little adventures have turned out great. But I cannot imagine my life without taking them. I would be a shadow of myself. And what fun is that?
End of fable, which is really a true story.
Be well. Travel wisely,