Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Journeys & Thornton Chocolates!

Journeys are like the experience of buying a box of Thornton chocolates – that process of eager anticipation, knowing that you are about to indulge in something beautiful, almost magical. Often it is impossible to describe in entirety the explosion of chocolate flavours in one’s mouth until that first exquisite bite when you are surprised (again and again) by the eruption of mouth-watering riches of chocolate, nuts, caramel, coffee, truffle – whatever your preference might be. In the same way, many journeys I make I begin with a sense of excitement, anticipating an element of ‘surprise’ along the way. As I reflect on my recent time in Ledbury I am reminded that journeys are so often more important, than the actual destination (if indeed, one can pinpoint a specific endpoint as the destination of their journey). I am of the mind that journeys are often perpetual – in that they remain a ‘process’, and each point that we may attribute as a ‘destination’ is simply a ‘check-point’, a ‘rest-point’, or even a ‘stepping-stone’ to the next adventure – all part of that continuous life journey.

After a tenuous start to the weekend, in that I finished my teaching day late on the Friday (caught up in a good old chin-wag with a couple of work colleagues); then went home only to find that my portable phone was on the blink (so I then had to spend many minutes phoning B.T. on my mobile trying to resolve the issue – which as usual was a nightmare); then on the journey out the No. 35 bus into Birmingham City Centre broke down (and I had to walk 20 minutes to New Street); and I soon realised that the handle of my mini-suitcase was broken (making it awkward to move the darn thing across town). Hmmmm… they do say bad luck happens in ‘threes’. Still I managed to make the train (in the nick of time), and got into Ledbury at around 8:20 pm that evening. I eventually arrived at my B&B in Putley (approximately 10 miles away from Ledbury train station) around 8:30 pm’ish.

The weekend was a really good time of reflection and much needed ‘me time’. I did achieve most of the things I had hoped to do (as noted in my last blog) – so it was a very productive weekend in that sense. But more importantly I felt as if I had the space to connect with my inner self and God. Indeed it was a very spiritual journey as I re-connected with God on many levels through a myriad of encounters over the weekend. God spoke volumes into my soul and nurtured my spirit in numerous ways, for example: through a book by Cameron Conant titled: ‘With or without you’; through the beautiful landscape which surrounds the B&B; through the silence and the quiet of the area; through the two gorgeous dogs belonging to the owners of the B&B; and through the beautiful churches and graveyards in both Ledbury and Putley (where I wandered around for hours basking in the lovely sunshine). At the offset, I believed that the journey for the weekend was one of ‘timing out’ and having some R&R, but what I received on this journey was abundantly more --- a box of Thornton surprises as I bonded with God in a very personal way. Bliss.

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