It was an unusually early start for me this morning, with my parent hat on, and so I took the opportunity to continue on to some woods I hadn’t visited for a while for my morning dog walk. Not being such an early morning driver these days, I forget how low and intense the sun can be at that time of day in the autumn and today was no exception. The November sun was so acutely angled through the trees bordering the traffic-packed roads that I was reduced to near blindness whenever a sudden gap in the foliage allowed those intense shafts of yellow-hued mist to turn their full golden dazzle in my direction and I missed my turning, not once but, twice as a result of being unable to see where I was going at a time of day when hesitation could mean another car greeting you in the rear!
So, on the second time around of missing a turning, and with no roundabout or convenient turning place for a couple of miles up ahead, I spontaneously turned down the very narrow lane that winds and drops sharply down the acute edge of the Ridges so that I could turn around at the bottom…and I’m so glad that I did. On that tiny and deserted country lane following the contours of a prime example of glacial landscaping, I was treated to the most ethereal shafts of amber light coming straight out of the dense woodland to my left; it really was the most magical sight to find yourself driving through, with the wide open golden valley on the other side, and then the whole view again as I returned up the steep hill, and so this got me into thinking about how all of life’s detours are just like that. Accidental, challenging, time-consuming, frustrating even, but (if we let them) they often deliver something we later get the feeling we were ‘meant’ to have experienced and are so glad that we did; something unpredictable yet lasting, the kind of ‘views’ that stay with us long after the event and which we would have missed completely, had we continued on our straight and more direct “A to B” route in life.
By way of another detour, my sleepy-eyed amblings along an information thread on Facebook over breakfast, before this early morning drive, had delivered me to the page of an artist I would never have tripped upon by any other means than such an ‘accidental’ diversion that took me from one seemingly chance encounter to another. Not only did I enjoy her art immensely, finding a huge amount in common with my own (including a similarity in what we are both currently working on), but it also felt like a serendipitous encounter at another level; like I was ‘meant’ to trip upon the recent post in which she shared her immense gratitude that, after years of hurdles and ill-health, and with a loving family and so much to be grateful for along the way, she had reached a point where she is now living her bliss, painting full time and about to open her own gallery space. Well, I haven’t got the gallery space (quite yet…) but the rest sounded familiar enough and gave me such an early morning injection of optimism that that too will come in its own good time and, for now, so much to be grateful for in every moment as I continue to paint up an autumn storm (so much so, there’s hardly a space left in my living room where paintings are propped up in various stages of completion). I certainly share with her all her evident gratitude for the many twists and turns in the journey that got her/me to where we are living our bliss, without a moments regret for any of the seeming detours that we took along the way.
Here’s to the ever more magical winding path of life and all those wonderfully unexpected views it delivers!