Tolkein, the author of, ‘Lord of the Rings’, once noted that, ‘all who wander are not lost’. I think that there’s some wisdom in this statement. Nowadays, in a very literal sense, I allow myself to get lost. For instance, within Norwich, I go a-wandering and if there’s an unfamiliar alley or a yard I step off the main street and explore. Oftentimes, I end up quite disorientated, but many times it has led me to discover ‘hidden’ treasures. One such gem is the hand-print pictured above. I happened upon this at the back of St Augustine’s. I wonder who’s hand this is? Somebody has left quite an impression!
It is interesting when we stop travelling in straight lines. We don’t realise how the routes we take are formed by habit. We are often ‘channelled’ in certain directions by our streets and lanes, and by time, as we rush about. There is a sense in which we have abandoned control. We don’t look around and above us – especially looking up! We just do we’ve always done, one foot in front of another. And if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got. When we make a conscious effort to wander, it isn’t just that a whole new environment is revealed, it’s also that we are exerting control over this aspect of our lives.
In the context of the Pit Stop this kind of exploration is an important aspect of our weekly History Health Walks on a Monday. We are also planning to start a photography walking group in the Mile Cross estate in the near future, which will challenge perceptions by looking again at the familiar and ‘everyday’. Watch this space for further updates and developments.