Sunday, 21 October 2012

Adventures And Not Fears

The Maze Of Adventure

I remember the days I spent with my grandmother with fond memories. Every summer, when the school broke up for the holidays, I headed off to live with my gran. It was not because my mother wanted rid of me, my younger brother stayed at home, I just chose to be with her.

So, immediately the school broke up, I packed my little suitcase and my mother took me to the railway station.  In those days there was always a guard on the train, somebody who made sure everything was safe. My mother would alert him to my being on the train alone. The journey lasted about an hour.  I then had to make my way to the bus station and get the bus out to the part of the city where my gran lived. I then walked from the bus to her house and knew she would be out at the end of the close (the passageway that led to each house and the stairs to the houses above in the tenement. A pre- written card was put in the post box to let my mother know I had arrived.  A real adventure for a young lad of six.

One of the things I liked best about being with my gran was her sense of adventure. She encouraged me to do things I would never have been allowed to do at home.

I overcame so many fears during those holidays. Some nights we visited my grans friends home. She lived at the top of  a tenement block, five flights of stairs up. We played dominoes together, then at about nine o’clock, a treat. I was sent to the shop to buy bags of chips, (deep fried potatoes). Trouble was, this meant coming back up all those stairs in the dark. I used to whistle tunes loud as I hurried up to the top. My gran used to laugh. “There is nothing there at night that was not there during the day,” she said.

My fear of the dark grew less and less. I was thinking about this as I walked home last night after meeting and having an ale with my son. He offered to drive me home, it being dark. I decided to walk. I walked the miles through the forest in total darkness. I run this path often during the day so I knew it well. How different it was in the still of the night, when I could see little and only heard the noise of a bat or an owl. It was a peace that is so different from any other. I would never have had this pleasure had it not been for my gran who taught me not to be afraid of things unknown.

We often put off doing things, prevaricate because of inner fears. We will do it when we have done other things; and we have a large list of those. So often we are missing the wonder of moments unknown. We need to grasp the moment as an adventure.

So, stop waiting… Until your car or home is paid off.

Until you get a new car or home.

Until your kids leave the house.

Until you go back to school.

Until you finish school.

Until you lose 10 lbs.

Until you gain 10 lbs.

Until you get married.

Until you get a divorce.

Until you have kids.

Until you retire.

Until summer.

Until spring.

Until winter.

Until fall.

Until you die.

There is no better time than right now to have that adventure.

This blog is linked to my other. And the painting above is about the content of this blog.The Maze Of Adventure


  1. Though I won't be walking home through the forest at night any time soon, I understand your message! Well said....and this maze painting goes very nicely with your words.

  2. Needed tis, Ralph..thanks! Nice painting

  3. Oh, Ralph, grandparents are the best! I love your message and your painting.

  4. Your painting shows no fear Ralph. I love it! We can always learn from others. Things that attract us or things to avoid. Now is always the right time.

  5. Excellent advice, Ralph. I hope one day my grandchildren will think as highly of me as you do your grandmother!

  6. Oh Ralph, it's a wonderful story. How brave you were as a little tyke! Sounds like your gran was a very wise person.

  7. It made a great reading Ralph, it is so very important on the part of parents to instill values of fearlessness when they are young, it is carried for the rest of their lives..the painting is free of constraints..bold and free!

  8. Very few people can say they are not afraid of the dark, but they are fortunate indeed. I am still one who will lay in bed afraid to put my feet down, lest there is a monster lurking there in the darkness... your gran's words are very wise: there is nothing there in the dark that wasn't there in the day. A follow-up might be that we must remember all the good things that were there in the daylight and remind ourselves that they are still there. Lots of food for thought, at usual. The painting is wonderful! I love the colors and lines all happily working together.

  9. Adventures and Not Fears - There is no time like the presence, is there? Good story Ralph.