they make you choose before you depart
you cannot see the paths
they ask only if you prefer to travel over land or over water
(they are considerate enough to ensure that if you choose the water route, you have appropriate footwear)
you will think, as you attempt to navigate the slippery rocks with your rugged yet soggy boots, that those who choose the land route must have it easier and you will be certain that you chose badly, but this is incorrect
those who travel over land will seethe with envy as they remove stones from their boots and curse the birds that swoop down and peck at their ears
even as the fish nip at your heels
the choices are neither good nor bad, they are only choices
you could have chosen not to travel at all, to remain as you were
that wouldn’t get you anywhere.
About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.