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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Finding My Way, by Fiona Lloyd




In my opinion, somewhere along the line we’ve got it wrong with our family. Between them this year, our offspring have visited The Netherlands, Germany, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Crete, Thailand and Australia. My husband and I went to Whitby.

We had a fantastic time, though: we’ve been trying to be more active this year, so our fortnight at the coast involved lots of walking and fresh air. (The best routes also included ice creams and / or several cups of tea).

For one of our first walks, we decided to visit a local farm shop, where they specialise in humungous ice cream sundaes, with a choice of around 20 flavours. Being the obsessive one in our relationship, I’d studied the map the night before and planned out what I thought was the best route.

            “It’s pretty straightforward,” I announced. “We just walk down this path until we reach the woodland, turn left through the trees, and then cut across the fields.” Hubby – naively assuming I knew what I was talking about – nodded his agreement.

What could possibly go wrong?
I was half-right…the first section of the walk went exactly as expected. We made our way down the track, and turned off through the woods at the appropriate point. Here the path meandered around more, taking in small streams and several muddy puddles. In was only when we reached what I thought was the far side of the wood that we discovered that we had performed a near-perfect circle, re-joining our original track slightly further back. But I’m not easily deterred, so – having had a little tantrum – I plunged back into the trees. Hubby, bless him, made appropriate noises of encouragement and followed on behind.

We must have squelched our way through the woods at least three times before we finally worked out what was going wrong. Following the twists and turns of the path while not being able to see any landmarks meant that I had completely lost my bearings. We’d marched past the correct turning several times already, but had discounted it because I’d (incorrectly) thought it was going in the wrong direction.


We could have done with one of these!
Often, my writing feels like this. I set off confidently in the belief that I know where I’m going, but then run aground in a sticky patch. What I’d thought was a crystal-clear outline starts to look a bit fuzzy round the edges, and I find myself wandering round in circles, searching desperately for a hint that will set me back on course. The temptation to give up can be overwhelming…but I'm learning I need to persevere. Sometimes, slowing down to consider all the options (and maybe exploring an idea I’d previously rejected) is the best way out of an oozy mess.

And the good news is that we reached our destination before closing time – and surely all those additional miles justified the extra scoop of ice cream?




Fiona Lloyd works part-time as a music teacher, and serves on the worship leading team at her local church. Fiona self-published a violin tutor book in 2013 and blogs at www.fjlloyd.wordpress.com. You can find her on Twitter at @FionaJLloyd. Fiona is vice-chair of ACW and is married with three grown-up children.



10 comments:

  1. So true. And detours sometimes end taking us on a better route. Great post, Fiona :)

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    1. Thanks, Deborah - I need to remember that sometimes detours can work out better in the end!

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  2. I love it! Those wrong turnings sometimes make the best stories. Thank you Fiona. xx

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    1. Thanks Helen...and I ran out of space to write about the second detour when a not-so-helpful farmer had allowed the path to become overgrown!

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  3. Great post, but I've now got a massive hankering for ice-cream! Away with you, you temptress!

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    1. Shame you don't live a bit closer - I'd be happy to treat you!

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  4. How I identify with this! It makes a very good metaphor for the writer's journey, too. I remember writing a blog post about a similar experience - I looked very hard for the signpost to the path I needed, but it was nowhere to be seen, and had to give up. Later I approached the same spot from a different direction, and saw it immediately.

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    1. Thank you - it just goes to show that it's worth revisiting things.

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  5. You sound very much like my husband ... only thing is, he never admits he's got us on the wrong track! And yes, with writing, the detours are often the most productive part of the journey.

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    1. I was tempted to blame the map...but after we had passed the same spot for the third time, I'm not sure I could have got away with it!

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