I’m fascinated at the moment with the thought of paths, directions, roads, choices. The thought that at the end of a certain route there might lie treasure, a lake, the sea. Or a dark wood, a monster, a cave. How to choose? How could you possibly know which is the best way?
Of course, in fairy tales, the best way is sometimes the hardest path, and that usually involves adventure, adversity and comradeship. The easy way just doesn’t make a good story.
I might be considering all this because big exams* loom large on our horizon, and interviews for scholarships, application forms for work experience and shopping for smart suits (now there’s a tragic comedy!) fill the days. It feels so hard, stabbing into the future with a pin and hoping the choices you make now will see you through to a happy ending. (Although I do maintain, in a helpful, motherly way* that a nice suit will help. And a haircut. And probably not a piercing at this point).
Painting it all out seems like a good idea. I’m not sure it will help my teenage engineer get where he wants to go (but it’s either painting or hard liquor after 3 hours clothes shopping with a 16 year old boy). It might help me get somewhere instead! Let’s face it, I’ve had a good few years on a lonely path. The sunshine in the meadow at the end is quite welcome, and it’s nice to express that in paint.
And then there’s the freedom I find in faith, the path illuminated before me. Thorns and flowers both line the way, but the light’s a beacon to my feet. I’m away down there. Coming?
To the future! May I always have the honour of getting there with this little guy.
But please God, don’t let the end destination be Topman.
*They’re not really big exams. Just think of them as little tests. And breathe.
*No shrieking or hissing is ever involved in motherly advice.