The journey of life: via a satnav - hello's, goodbye's, memories

The anecdote of likening the journey of life to a satnav is fairly simple, but quite true.  You programme in your destination but getting there may take you longer than you first planned.  A satnav will initially select the fastest and most direct route, but with modern gps technology (especially on smart phones it would seem), the satnav is so intuitive that it offers you options to change your route as you are on your journey.  It takes information and processes it with regard to weather, traffic conditions, and other unknown entities to offer you the opportunity to stay on your existing route, which may take longer, or take an alternative… it is designed to keep you moving towards your end goal and not to become tied up with sedentary activity.

Today I, Mrs eKuiLibriuM, experienced the satnav effect, during a day full of hello’s, goodbye’s and memories.  I made a return journey to Chelsfield in Kent, my home village where I spent my formative years from ages 8 to 18.  I knew the route to Chelsfield from our studio in Hertford without the assistance of a satnav, but the weather was truly awful.  Raining cats and dogs and the roads were like rivers, with vision limited and spray making concentrating a challenge.  I could have got there with my eyes closed but the satnav kept me informed and allowed me to make decisions, particularly on the south side of the River Thames.

I arrived at my first destination feeling pretty chilled because of this and met with one of my longest standing friends.  Over the New Year she had returned permanently to the UK from South Africa.  We hadn’t met for 5 years.  Within minutes of meeting, we talked as if we’d finished a conversation last night, and didn’t stop talking for almost two hours.  During that time we reminisced of our school years together.  We had both been at secondary together, both had part time jobs on the parade of shops that we were enjoying a catch up in (although the parade had evolved, we had not had a café there as youths!); we basically put the world to rights and left each other to go to our next meetings feeling blessed.

I was in Chelsfield primarily to support another long standing friend from secondary school whose Dad had sadly passed away a week before Christmas.  He is one of only three friends that are in my life since I was 12 and although we don’t see each other regularly we are always there for the important events.  The last time I had been at this church was for my 3rd school friend’s wedding in the late 90’s.  A single memory came flooding back to me as I parked, which was of my brother striding towards to church entrance with a video camera slung on his shoulder and his suit jacket flapping, with the broadest smile on his face.  That made me smile and I messaged my Mr eKuiLibriuM, and he replied he could see it then too.  Memories.  The service and send-off were beautifully done, with a couple of joyful (belt out) hymns; the rector talked of memories and remembrance.  As we went to the burial plot for his Dad’s internment, after the morning’s torrential rain, the sky was blue.  I believe our souls soar freely beyond the blue sky and to have blue sky visible at this key time felt liberating and spiritual at the same time.

After the service and get together at a pub that was formerly called the ‘Heavy Horse’, (I remember that it used to have a large pub sign swinging outside of a shire horse), which coincidentally is opposite a Methodist church car park that we used to hang in as teens (I used to hide behind the wall at 645pm as my Dad flew past in his car from work… memories!).  Hugs, and memories were shared and I then got on the road again for the return journey.

Satnav plugged in and programmed, the main roads were protesting under the weight of traffic and accidents, as such, I was then led on a journey through back roads that I had forgotten existed.  I drove ‘pathways’ that brought back memories of childhood journeys, all the while moving onward to my final home destination.

Today wasn’t a day of fitness and activity, but it was a day of positivity, tinged with sadness, but an opportunity to reflect, review and move forwards. Memories make you realise that every day is a blue sky day, even though it may be hidden behind the clouds, you don’t have to look far to feel it.

"They helped me set realistic goals, with challenging yet achievable milestones" Susanne

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