Ever since I was a girl, I have always loved heading off on holidays. It often meant getting up early, climbing into the car with blankets and pillows (setting up the mobile bed well before mobile homes), and then driving into the morning light. I had three siblings and sometimes things were very tight in the back seat. I remember one holiday was a drive to Sydney in a Holden HG sedan. Complete with 4 kids in the back. And mum, dad and nanna on the front bench seat. It was a case of heading off on the open road. With the destination way ahead. And nothing to do but enjoy the scenery, the occasional conversation, and endless games of ‘I spy’. Too funny when you think there was no air conditioning, all luggage on a single roof rack (lost two suitcases before Kalgoorlie), and no backup plan. Just pack up and drive. We lived in the moment and experienced everything with passion, excitement and a cockeyed optimism.
I think those holidays remain with me. I still love to rise early in anticipation of a long drive. I love the twists and turns of the road. The overtaking traffic and the trucks hurtling pass in the opposite direction. The stops at the service stations for drinks and food that would never suit me in city slicker mode but fit so aptly in the front seat of a car.
There is a wonder to these days.
And it still shapes me. The not knowing it all. The waiting but with expectation and confidence that something is coming. I am definitely one for loving the journey over the destination. I see this outworked in my everyday approach to life. I love the long version of a story. The build-up to an event so much more than the event itself. The talk and discussion about philosophy and theology. I love the in-between when we are wondering how it could work and if it could work.
Allowing the stories to be told unfinished
And now with the Foxglove Project, a charity I lead supporting women and girl projects in the Developing World, I have just written the first book. It’s called Twenty Reasons to Believe. It shares some ideas around ‘good’ development and women helping themselves out of poverty, as well as telling the wonder-filled stories of 20 women.
It’s not an original idea I know. But I like to think the stories are different. They have not finished stories. Not all BIG stories of overcoming and winning. Sometimes they are tiny steps stories. Sometimes they are tottering steps whereby a woman is unsure if she can trust, what she so much wants to be true. And I for one find such beauty, such wonder in each of their tales. It’s not the end of the story. It’s the journey. The travel along the road in a slow car with the windows down and the sun shining brightly ahead. It will be a beautiful day. A wonderful day. And we are driving towards it.