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On a recent walk to the pond, Shawn and I noted the appearance of the first bob house of the season.

‘Geez,’ I said reflexively to Shawn, ‘that seems risky to me.’ We had both just turned a moment before to look down the stretch of the pond and notice the large gaping mouth of dark frigid open water just yards from where the ice fisherman was set up.

‘I’m sure they measured the ice, ‘ Shawn said quietly, ‘otherwise they wouldn’t be out there.’

Of course, I thought. Not everyone is as risk averse about this sort of thing as I am.

‘I really want to walk across the pond this winter once the ice is more fully formed,’ Shawn added, another idea that shivers my limbs.

It’s so fascinating how our feelings and needs lead us all on such a variety of paths – the ice fisherman wants to catch fish, and maybe seeks the peace and solitude of the bob house; Shawn wants to walk across a frozen body of water, seeking that same peace and solitude, and also fun and beauty; I want to simply stand on the beach, where there is plenty of peace, solitude, and beauty for my risk-averse bones.

That calculation of risk never ceases. If all goes to plan, this afternoon I will drive an hour to a gathering of folks who are hoping to learn from me in a music workshop offering. It’s still snowing as I type these words, and so the calculations are being run. When will the snow stop? Will the roads be clear enough?

A week from now, Shawn and I will be driving to Kansas City to the Folk Alliance International conference, where we have an official showcase this year. There’s always a risk in that long of a road trip – or any time spent in a car, really – and yet I feel as confident in all of those calculations as the ice fisherman does in their own.

The travels of both body and mind are plenty enough to keep us all curious, that’s for sure! So whatever you’re up to today and every day, I wish you safe and happy travels, both internally and externally.

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