Once upon a time there was an elephant. He was an adolescent elephant, but he had been separated from his pack. He was out playing with several friends of his, and had gotten lost. The whole elephant group was on their way on their yearly migration pattern. This young elephant was at the age where parents usually let the elephant find it’s own way; because they need to remember how stay on course of their yearly migration path. Most people know that elephants have very good memories, but one thing that many people don’t realize about elephants is that they need to practice this memory from a very young age.
As such, when elephants go wandering off like this young elephant did with his friends, they were concerned, but not overly so. They knew that the elephant would initially find its way. Of course different parents had different time when they let the elephants go roaming off by themselves. After all, they really couldnâ€™t get very far. It was hard to find a large group of elephants slowly moving east. It might take a young adventurous elephant a few days, but they usually found there way fairly easily.
Which of course, was why the parents of this particular elephant weren’t very worried, because he had shown fairly good memory so far. They had made the trip three times already. The first two times the young elephant had stayed very close to his parents, and had wailed considerably when they tried to run up ahead to see if he could find his way. On the third trip, he seemed to be able to stay fairly clear of his parents. Whenever they tried to round him up when they were getting ready to leave with the rest of he group, although he had eventually caught up with them, he seemed to have an “I can do it by myself attitude.”
You know how it is, when you feel a little bit resentful when people are telling you that you should do a certain thing, even though you know that you should probably be doing it anyways, but you kind of resent being told what to do? That is exactly how this elephant felt on that trip.
But now it had been three days since he had seen any other elephants. He had found a couple of small streams to drink from, and finding food wasn’t a problem, because after all, he was an elephant. But he was starting to get lonely. He missed the company of his friends, and that feeling you get when you see something familiar. He was right at the halfway point between enjoying being on his own, and feeling that familiar pull of doing what you are used to all the time. Like you feel like if you go one way, you will go back to how things always were, but if you go the other way, there is no telling how much fun and excitement you could have. The only problem is by going the second way, you might encounter danger that you didn’t know existed before, and you don’t know if you can handle it.
It’s like you have to choose between normal, safe, medium amount of fun, to an opportunity of fantastic excitement and adventure, coupled with a chance of horrible slow impending doom. Even though you are afraid of the doom, you can’t help but to feel compelled to follow this new path. To keep going forward until finally figure out exactly what you are looking for. Like following the familiar path is following the path of other people, and following this new path is following your true heart, wherever it may lead.
The young elephant kept trudging along, all of these thoughts swirling around in his quickly developing adolescent elephant brain. He came up to a rise, and surveyed where he had been, and where he could go. Up ahead, about five miles, to the east, he saw a large, slowly moving cloud of dust. At first he was happy to see it, because he knew it contained his family, his friends, and the rest of the group. To the west, he saw a vast plain filled with unknown trees and mountains and animals he may have never seen before. He knew that up ahead, in six weeks, time, both paths would converge, and all off the elephant groups would meet together. He looked one last time at the far away and slowly moving cloud of dust and certain safety, and then to the west, to the unknown. And he made his decision.