The quote “Not all those who wander are lost” is from the poem “All That Glitters Is Not Gold” in Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. It simply means that just because someone likes to explore, it doesn’t mean they’re lost. Having a nomadic lifestyle doesn’t necessarily mean you are without purpose, like me as I prepare to set off to warmer climes in the next few days.
But not until I have passed four-score and ten years. Our little family (well, not so little these days!) have arranged a birthday celebration for me. We will gather from various places around this great country; a rare chance to meet up with each other – some for the first time. The youngest great grandchildren will have their introductory meeting with this old bloke, to be cuddled and enjoyed; one of the little ones will get their first ever snuggle from this dear old Great-Grandfather. Hard to believe I am still here to do that!
This gathering, where we will all sit down to a catered meal together, away from the rush and bother of our ordinary lives, will be another memorable occasion for me. And, despite the indisputable fact that my memory is gradually slipping away, it is an event that I hope will be a significant milestone for us all. It will be a chance to discover, and rediscover, each other in happy ways that will linger in our minds, forever; certainly, it will for me.
No doubt some of my extended family will have often met and spoken before and shared stories before that dinner. Despite all the social media opportunities that abound, I hope it will be extra special for them; to be together and share a meal and enjoy chattering in real time. I’m sure we will re-discover the art of face-to-face conversation hasn’t yet been lost in this techo world.
Nothing beats a good chinwag up close and personal! I hope the gathering will be a happy relaxing time, it surely will trump a funeral! The last time most of us met as one group was at my dear Dorothy’s farewell, well over two years ago. I know she would be pleased for us all to be meeting for a special birthday. My special prayer is that she will be with us in spirit, laughing and chuckling at how no one looks any older than when we last met! And what a joyful way to welcome the newest babies, even the one that’s ‘well on the way’ but not expected for a few more months!
Why did I start this story with the words about wandering? For two reasons, Firstly I knew that, once I started typing, I would begin being sentimental and loquacious. Secondly, after the party I am wandering off (again) on a little excursion. One of our sons is taking me a on a ‘Bucket list’ rail journey to northern Queensland. He’s there to make sure I don’t get lost…….still just exploring!