It's a funny thing, life. We strike out on a certain path but we never really know where we're going to end up. We never truly know what the consequences of making that left turn in Albuquerque are going to be five or ten years down the road. We go through life, sometimes walking, sometimes running, and sometimes resting, trying to make the best decisions we can about when to go straight and when to turn, and who to walk with. As we proceed to our final destination, as all of us do, we collect experiences and memories and observe the wonders of the world along the way.
As we go, we leave our mark on the trail. If we live our life poorly, we leave the trail in poor shape for those who follow. Sometimes we do this consciously and sometimes we do it unconsciously. Sometimes the things we leave behind are left with the best of intentions - only to trip those who are crossing our track. If we've traveled well, however, we leave things - useful things - behind for other travelers to make their journeys easier. Sometimes the things we leave behind are trail markers, maps, or guides. Sometimes its equipment or food or a soft place to rest. Sometimes it's a story or a riddle to contemplate along the way.
In August of 2008, I crossed another man's trail. He left some things behind that caused me to pause and reflect - and to pause and reflect every time I passed near that trail ever since.
Then, one day, he crossed my trail. Not only did he cross my trail, but he followed the sign I left behind and met me a little further along.
But I'm speaking in riddles. All will be explained in time.