In summer the driveway is merely steep, but after a winter snowstorm, the driveway takes on its truest character as a mentor.
For the first two years after we moved in, whenever it would snow, I would simply wait for the snow to melt before driving our car back up. I could not imagine how to shovel that entire mass. For weeks we would trudge up the forty stairs through the snow, waiting for the universe to magically melt the chilly white stuff. When my wife remarked on this, my patented and well-practiced reply was, "I would not even know where to start."
One year, there was a big storm while I was away. On the telephone my wife complained about the snow and the long trudge up the path. However, when I arrived home, to my utter shock, the driveway was clear. "How did the driveway get cleared?" I asked.
"Oh," she said, "Carter and I shoveled it." Carter is our twelve-year-old son.
"But how?" I asked sheepishly.
"We just got started," she said. "The rest of it came to us from there."
For three years, every time it snowed I would look out at our driveway and wonder, "What is the perfect way to clear that driveway?" I would imagine myself sliding down to oblivion, lying in the ER with a midlife snow-induced heart attack, or driving a motorized plow up the pavement. The one thing I had never done was to start and see what happened next!
Over the years, I have seen this same phenomenon in many people's lives, including my own. We wait for the perfect plan to come to us, the perfect path to wherever it is we are trying to go, when all the time the deepest wisdom we could discover would be to simply start and see what happens.
Think of all the things you plan to do someday. You know what they are, and I have my list too. Learn a language, devote more time to charity, take it easy, exercise, be more honest, the list goes on and on. Then ask yourself this question: "What is it you are waiting for before you start?" Maybe you're waiting for the "perfect plan." The time is not quite right? I'm too busy? You may manufacture all kinds of reasons as you bluff your way past the one true answer: There is nothing you are really waiting for, except the simple choice to get started.