I chose this title from the song by the Beatles because I do find myself very drawn to taking meandering pathways through the countryside these days. Paul McCartney sounds incredibly melancholy, as he sings it, and I know there was a lot of sadness in his life when he wrote it.
The long and winding road is a great metaphor for life actually. In fact, I am reading a memoir with this title by Alan Johnson, who was a member of Parliament in the UK. He wrote in his first book, The Boy, about his harrowing childhood but in The Long and Winding Road he writes about his meteoric rise in the labour party to become Home Secretary in 2009. With his ‘upbringing’, it is astonishing that he enjoyed such success in politics, which nowadays seems to be dominated by Old Etonians. Like most people, the road through my life has been been very varied. There have been some very rocky bits where I stumbled and fell with a bump. There have been icy cold patches when I felt abandoned and alone. There have been muddy bits where I got bogged down in troubles and cares. There have been dark stretches where I was afraid. There have been forks in the road where I sometimes made what turned out to be the wrong choice. And, just once, the road was blocked altogether and I was unable to carry on. But mostly, the road has just been long and gently winding, so even though I couldn’t see where I was going, I knew I had to keep moving forward.
These days I look on long and winding roads purely for pleasure.
I dream of walking along a coast road, like those in Cornwall or Dorset, with the sun on my back. Or rambling through the villages and farmland along the Cotswold Way when the rapeseed is in its golden glory. But a jaunt through parkland and woods with my dog and the grandchildren will do just as well. In fact, now that I’m retired and my children are happy, independent adults, I don’t mind where the long and winding road takes me.
The photo is of my daughter with her dog walking through the woods near her home in California. I expect, like all of us, she is just a face in the crowd to passers by when she strays from her corner of the world. But of course, to me, it matters not where she is; we will always be connected by our great loves ~ of dogs, of being in nature ~ and of each other.
Enjoy some long and winding road photos.