Thursday, March 21, 2013

some who wander are lost indeed

I suppose it's a cliche now to say that 'not all who wander are lost,' but when BB1 first got that as a tattoo a few years ago I thought it was brilliant and insightful. Wandering is one of my favourite things - I rarely actually experience being lost in new cities, because wandering aimlessly is always a part of my plan. And yet, the plan can sometimes go awry. 

When I booked my cottage on the edge of Doolin, Co. Clare a few years ago, I knew that I would mostly be walking. I also knew that Doolin was a small village, even by Irish standards, and so assumed that I couldn't get much turned around. It turns out that's not entirely true. And, even worse, it turns out that after the first day of getting my bearings, I tended to take the same route on my daily wanders. Down the back road past the barn with no roof. A  pause to watch the cows in an emerald field. In to the village for lunch at McGann's pub. 

It wasn't until I'd been in Doolin for 3 days and finally took a cab somewhere that I realised I'd missed almost all of the village proper - the record store, two more pubs, a used book store, a shop full of yarn and Irish fisherman's sweaters. I did wonder before then where people shopped, but Lisdoonvarna was only 15 minutes by the bus, and had all kinds of stores. Silly foreigner. 

All who wander may  not be lost. But some who wander are definitely missing out. There's a freedom and serendipity to wandering, but something to be said for looking at a guide book now and then.

In Doolin, the plethora of signposts are actually only useful if
you take the main road into town.

The Scintilla Project Today's Prompt: 

1. Talk about where you were going the day you got lost. Were you alone? Did you ever get to where you meant to go?

2. What is the longest thing you know by heart (for example, a prayer, speech, commercial jingle, etc.)? Why did you learn it?

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