Javier Leiva

Growing by Learning and Learning by Doing

The Exciting Stuff is In the Margins

I try to go for a hike every day. The dog needs to go outside, and I do, too, so unless I have another unavoidable obligation, I allocate some mid-afternoon time for that. However, my weekdays are limited, so the hike is short and almost always happens in a small area of trails walking distance from home. We usually follow a short trail until the end, then return a bit, take another short path in another direction, and go back home.

These regular daily short hikes are very much automatic. I usually stay on the trail and follow the same path. But I get easily bored, so here and there, I try to add little variations that make it different and more exciting. I may get off the trail for a bit or take a smaller section I had not seen before—little adjustments.

That is where the magic happens. On the trail, you see nothing in particular—just dirt, rocks, bushes, and some trees. But when you step out and get to usually non-traffic areas, you sometimes find objects you couldn’t notice before because you were not stepping out of the limit. A good metaphor for life, really.

In the area I’m talking about, it’s usually just remains of past temporary human settlements or, sometimes, items or parts of items that I suspect were stolen somewhere in town. I would not be pleased if it were a lot because it would ruin the area, but I’ll admit that I get excited when I see a new object, and I try to imagine how it got there. Here are a couple of examples:

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