Thursday, April 11, 2019

Getting Lost

I found myself driving around in circles this afternoon.  No that's not a euphemism, or some kind of analogy for my life right now.  It was an actual event.  Losing all sense of direction is surprisingly easy on long single track country lanes, especially when signposts are few and far between.  I was originally looking for a specific location I believed was off of one of these lanes, but couldn't find it - as there was nowhere to turn around I just kept on driving, on the basis that all roads go somewhere.  The trouble is that, more often than not, that somewhere isn't anywhere you want to go.  (No, that isn't an analogy for my life, either).  Anyway, I made the mistake of taking a turning in the direction I thought would take me back to he main road and, well, one turning led to another I found myself on a main road - one heading in the wrong direction.  Toward Guildford, in fact.  Having been lost in Guildford before now, I knew that I didn't want to go there.  A turning down the first exit - a narrow track - and a few more turnings back in the direction I thought I now needed to go, and I found myself traveling a familiar stretch of country lane.  Which was great, until I realised that it was only familiar as I'd been driving down it toward the wrong main road a few minutes earlier.

So, I gave in and consulted the map function on my phone - within minutes I was back on familiar territory.  The whole experience left me musing on how difficult it is to actually get lost these days.  Thanks to smart phones and Sat Navs, we can always find out where we are with pinpoint accuracy.  It's only when we are so foolish as to try and rely upon our own sense of direction that we find ourselves lost.  Not that there's anything wrong with being lost out on the road - to be frank, it feels good to sometimes be on unfamiliar ground, not knowing what we're going to see around the next corner, not recognising the villages we drive through - it's an adventure.  The truth is that we spend far too much time traveling the same old roads, where nothing surprises us - the scenery just rolls on by, largely unnoticed because we've seen it so often.  (No, still not an analogy for my life).  Sometimes those unfamiliar roads lead you to somewhere unexpected and wonderful - many of the places I love and still visit have been found while 'lost'.  Moreover, I've spent many a happy hour trying to get back onto familiar roads after going 'off map' and getting lost.  Finding the way back is a challenge, a test of logic as you eliminate the possibilities of various routes.  But nowadays, those phones and Sat Navs threaten to deprive us of these pleasures.



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