I hate trying to navigate around the streets in the Dallas area. The streets meander and wind their way around and don't make obvious sense in their layout. It's because they're laid out by livestock and not by engineer. Most of the roads around the older parts of town date back to the time when folks were driving around in buggies and the paths were those which were easiest to drive a team over. They might be the most direct route, but most often are the flat part of the ground, or the way around where the skunks live. Nobody had to tell me that last part. I just know that it's true. Nobody's gonna drive by the skunk nest. Well...are they? Would you? Definitely not. You would have to be three kinds of crazy to drive your team of oxen past the skunk hole, because oxen don't go all that fast and skunks smell bad. I'll be honest here, I don't know how fast a team of oxen can go. While I'm sure that the answer lies out there on the internet somewhere, I know that no matter what it is it wouldn't be fast enough to get away from the skunk stink. Which all means that here I am, driving around on the north side of the Metroplex in my 21st century car along streets laid out by 19th century horses or cows. I'm taking the winding road because some fellow back in 1884 didn't want to run over a family of skunks and so swung around them. Everyone who came after him followed his tracks and before you knew it, there was a little windy bit in the road there. 100+ years later and we're all still following along the way he went.
There are days in my life when I wonder about whether or not the simple things I do amount to much of anything at all in the great scheme of history. They may not, but I may be like that guy way back when. Like him, I'm just minding my own business and doing my own thing and trying to avoid the stinky bits, and before I know it I'll be leading generations of people on my same winding road.
It's an important thing to remember in life. There are people coming along after us who are going to be trying to go along in the same general direction we have gone. Are we leading them in a direct route, or are they going to get lost trying to follow our trail? Is where we're going gonna take them somewhere important, or is it just going to be one more loop around which prolongs the journey and gets them lost?