As a young boy, I would meander down the train tracks of my hometown — sometimes to pass summer days with friends, sometimes to think and spend time alone. It wasn’t dangerous, because the Novato train station hadn’t seen a single train come by since it burned down.

It’s been a long time since then and my last ride on the rails. Then I planned a trip, a trek to the next town using Google Maps to see how far it was and if it indeed went where I thought it would.

I never took that trip. At the time, it seemed pointless. If I knew exactly where I was going and roughly how long it would take, what was the point? The magic of the rails is in the mystery, the new things to see and the pointlessness of it all.

After having seen many people walking down the tracks recently I was reminded of my love of wandering and decided to have a mini-adventure. On my journey, I saw many other track travelers and artifacts of travelers past. At the end of my trip, I was surprised and delighted to find a note stuffed away in the tracks. In the note the author says, “[It] feels like I am wondering through life lost like a lost soul”  and that the author is “wandering aimlessly.”

To the author of that note I have this to say: It’s OK to feel aimless. Purpose often comes out of unexpected avenues. But you have to put yourself out there on the tracks and keep going. Otherwise, you will stay stuck forever.

Life is just a four-letter word, synonymous with mystery.

You make it what you want.