The Line of Desire

I think it is very likely that you’ve seen many lines of desire in your lifetime.

I read an article and found a gem of an idea buried well into the discussion. Intriguing, I thought.

I have seen the line of desire throughout my life. What is it? I’m glad you asked – I love your curiosity.

Architectural-speak refers to the line of desire as the natural path folks make in public parks before or without identifiable walkways.

I think I heard you say, “I didn’t know there was a word for that! Well, me neither.

I remember when a new lawn, park or public open green space was made. The small town of 3,000 people I lived in for almost ten years was upgrading a large corner with a play area for toddlers and upgraded the gravel mud-packed surface with sod. The ribbon-cutting ceremony finished the project nicely with coffee, hot chocolate and cookies for everyone. A terrific Saturday afternoon, for sure.

Many people walked through that space over the years. The trodden paths were the first to become muddy as the dirt was packed tight but the constant pressure of feet. I wondered if those same paths would show up now that it was all covered in grass.

It didn’t take long for the grass to be killed off in particular patterns. Generally, they were straight lines, with folks looking for the shortest distance between their point of entry into the park and their exit. There was a row of stores along one side to measure the popularity of the stores by the quickness of the creation of the muddy path.

The grocery store won easily.

Please give this a bit of a think. What paths have you created for yourself over the years? I don’t mean literal tracks but virtual routes. Did you often choose the trail less travelled? Or perhaps you design a more scenic one – with more time to smell the roses, being more in the moment. What about the quickest or shortest practical choices we often experience with our navigation devices?

There isn’t a wrong answer. But I think it makes life more interesting if we stop, pause and more consciously make decisions significantly when they subtly impact our lives.

If you hear yourself saying things such as “I don’t have the time,’ or ‘I’ve never been that way before,’ shake things up a bit. Do it a little differently when you have a chance to choose.

I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think below.

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4 thoughts on “The Line of Desire

  1. Patti+Dolman says:

    The Path That Was Not Meant to Be
    Thirty years ago I lived in a condo overlooking a wooded area that was bordered by a circular road around a shopping mall and backed onto by a high school. One morning I heard the unmistakable sound of a chainsaw . Wait a minute surely the city wasn’t cutting down trees! I immediately called the city and was told they were merely creating a path. Why I asked would you encourage foot traffic through these woods when the main users would be high school students or perhaps a lone female ? I don’t have to give details about possible scenarios. Well the path never came to fruition. I saw a tent through the foliage years later and thought what a nice little hideaway for kids to do ……. Well whatever kids like to do when they have privacy.

    • glenn says:

      I remember as a youngster we had a big garden across the laneway in no-man’s land. One early fall day trucks and bulldozers appeared to start a housing development. I still remember the shock on my mother’s face when she heard the news from the foreman. The neighbourhood negotiated a few days’ grace so we could harvest our crops. Still a sad reminder some 60 years later.

  2. Glenn says:

    This emailed comment is copied with the permission of the writer, Kevin:

    Interesting blog. I also like to think of this as my “natural vibration”…some people use the term “passion points”.

    For me, I know that I can develop and execute business strategy but….my real line of desire will always be in the arts sector. I can tell because this path is “well worn”.

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