Life is a Journey Reflective Essay

The greatest leaders, teachers and influencers of our world’s history spent their lives walking. The writer of the blog “Choose Your Metaphor”, known only as Daniel, writes about how Socrates, Buddha and Jesus did a lot of walking.

Whether it was in order to clear their minds, walking with a purpose and final destination in mind, time spent meditating and / or praying, or whether it was in order to meet diverse people each on their own journeys, walking was high on the agenda of these ancient influencers. Many times, these philosophers did their walking alone.

While on their way, they walked their journeys under different circumstances. Sometimes their journeys were unbearably hot and other times their journeys were uncomfortably cold. Some days they walked their paths as teachers, with a loyal following of students and believers of their philosophies; other days, they walked their paths alone, with no one by their side, feeling lonely and possibly even finding peace in the solitude.

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On our journey through life, there are many times that we have to walk parts of it alone. There are lessons that we have to learn while walking on our own, which we will not be able to learn if we had company. There are destinations we have to reach on our own that no one else can reach for us. Sometimes we need to walk away from people or situations that hold us back on our journey, or that need to walk a different journey to ours. Sometimes, in order to see the beauty in ordinary places or situations, which may look more like a swamp upon first glance to us, than a beautiful ocean, we are required to walk a path without any distractions in the form of human contact.

On our journey through life we will go through different seasons. Spring is the season of new beginnings, opportunities and growth, a time to sow the seed. Summer is the time where we can reap the harvest from the seeds sown during Spring, where we can be active and live life to the full. Autumn is the season of rest and an opportunity to enjoy the unknown between here and now and revel in the beauty of change. Every now and then we will experience the equivalent of a Winter in our lives: a place of slow to little growth, a time of our lives where we feel stagnant, or a time where the promise of anything new seems not only unlikely but highly improbable. However, throughout these times there are little signs or promises that there is hope yet, no matter how slight these signs or promises are. Even though Winter may be an unforgiving season, there are few things as comforting and calming as the winter sun. It is the little natural warmth that penetrates through your body and into your soul. It reminds us that the Earth is turning and as the seasons come to pass, so too shall every season of our lives, no matter how long the season feels to have persisted.

In the play “Henry IV” written by William Shakespeare, King Henry the Fourth states that “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”. Throughout the journey that we walk, we may be walking it in different roles. Sometimes we will walk our journey as a subservient to our circumstances; or as a follower, following in the footsteps of a mentor that we may admire or consider to be a person whose presence in our life is worth following; and other times, yet, we may walk the journey as a leader with responsibilities to uphold in the form of a crown or wings. Although it may be an honor to wear wings or bear a crown, it comes with a burden of responsibility to do the right thing and be worthy of the wings or the crown in times where it’s easier to do the wrong thing.

On the one hand there is a feeling of coziness and easiness in the feeling of the sun, as if the sun or some sort of light “has your back”. On the other hand, one is also conscious of the heaviness that feels like the weight of wings. While we walk on earth, we have mechanisms in order to rise and fly, but these mechanisms are dependent on how we utilize them. Does our focus rest on the warmth and comfort that our wings bring, or does it rest on the weight that these wings bring? Do we enjoy the warmth of the wings or do we allow ourselves to be weighed down by the burden of responsibilities?

While walking on our journey, alone or with other people, along a beautiful shoreline or wetlands with their own subtle beauty, we need to feel the warmth of the sun when it reveals itself to us and revel in the strength of our wings.

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Works Cited
“New and Revised Poems from Cumulus.” Robert Gray,
Shakespeare, William. “Henry IV, Part 2: Act 3, Scene 1.” The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource,
“Walking.” Choose Your Metaphor, 29 Mar. 2015,