First posted on LinkedIn March 2, 2016
There’s an old folk tale of a tourist visiting a monastery, where he was greeted by an ageing monk and invited in for tea. While the old man prepared the tea, the tourist asked about the monk’s humble lifestyle – a simple bed, chairs and a table, a few books and a prayer mat, a basic cooker and no fridge. “How do you manage to live like this?” asked the visitor. “No telephone, only a few clothes and no radio, let alone a TV or computer?”
The old man replied with a question of his own. “Where are your possessions?”
“Oh, I’m travelling”, the man responded. “I’m just passing through.”
“We are all just passing through,” replied the monk.
I chose to spend much of the day today walking and reflecting. With my partner by my side, I trekked through the moorland near my home, setting down some fresh tracks in the snow. We had an idea of where we were heading, but the snow obscured the footpaths and we took several wrong turns as we passed through the glorious Yorkshire countryside. We eventually descended the moor, found a pub for some lunch and later took a train back home again.
I feel blessed to be able to take a day out every now and again and just be. Pause. Reflect. Are we following our own path or someone else’s? When did this journey truly begin?
And so it seems there are no such things as wrong turns, only paths we never thought we’d take. And in the end, we’re all just passing through.
Jeremy J Lewis