Last week we went on one of our quiet days in Keswick. There is something about these days that trips my brain over into a creative spin. Most of the time it’s sketching, I rarely feel inspired to sketch at other time, but on quiet days I can draw anything. This time it was different though, this time it was a story.
Here it is for you:
The Wet Windows
Short-sighted as I am I sat before a wet window. It was raining outside and the wind was blowing it around the window. All I could focus on was those wandering droplets and the drips in the puddles just outside.
I tried to focus on the trees beyond but my eyes and the raindrops wouldn’t let me.
Beside me was a book of beautiful landscape photos. I tried to experience the scenes they portrayed. They were calm and peaceful, but still only pictures.
Then my friend tapped me on the shoulder. “Shall we go on a bit of a journey” he said.
“But it’s raining and the wind is blowing a gale out there.” I replied.
“You’ve got your boots and your coat haven’t you?” He retorted.
I no longer had an excuse. So off I went out to the car and picked up my waterproof coat and my walking boots. My friend was already prepared by the time I got back.
“Which way shall we go?” I asked.
“Why don’t we just walk across the church yard to the church?” I jokingly suggested.
“Come on Graham that’s no adventure.” He replied with a smile.
So off we set, down the road away from the church.
As the wind blew harder still my friend undid his coat and pulled it above his head like a sail, just like we did as children. “Feel that force!” He excitedly shouted.
A bit further along there was a huge puddle. My friend was off again, hop, skip and jump, both feet, straight into the middle. He laughed like a giddy child.
We carried on until we came to a bouncy bridge over a flooded river. “Look at the power in that.” He said. “Feel that low rumble of water over rocks.”
A little further along we reached a lake. “Wow, look at that” he exclaimed “it’s amazing to think that it’s all just a load of raindrops.”
“Shall we stop here?” I suggested.
“Let’s go a little further.” He encouraged.
We headed off into the woods.
After a little while there was a path to the right.
“This way?” I questioned.
“Let’s carry on this way a little further.” He replied.
Eventually we reached the edge of the woods and were greeted by the spectacular view of a mountain looming over us.
“Are we going up there?” I quizzed.
“No, this is far enough for today.” He comforted.
“So, what was this all about?” I asked.
He talked as we returned.
“Well it’s like this Graham.
“It’s OK to sit inside where it is safe and warm but you are only ever going to get a window view, and on days like today that view is always going to be distorted by things in the foreground.
“The only way that you are going to get any more than that is to get out into it.
“Pictures can only show you a glimpse of the possibilities; they are no substitute for the real thing either.
“Your glasses are a bit like my words to you; they let you see clearer and further, but you still need to get out there to really experience it.
“I let you choose the path because I know that life is full of all sorts of possibilities. I’m not here to dictate to you which of those possibilities you should choose. I want to join you on the journey through them. I want to show you the exciting things that I have made for you along the way. I want to be there when you discover new and exciting things.
“Sometimes I’ll encourage you to stick to a particular path that you have chosen, other times I’ll encourage you to travel a little further. On other occasions I’ll let you know that we have gone far enough.
“I could have let it be a glorious sunny day. I let it rain because I wanted you to experience how the rain and the wind made you feel. You can feel more alive in the midst of a storm than you can on any sunny day.
“Remember Graham, life is a journey, one that I want to walk with you. Today has just been a glimpse of that journey.”
Perhaps it wasn’t a story perhaps it was more than a story?