Travelling. It’s all I seem to do these days. While for the last couple of weeks this has been the case, the start of this piece is actually the opening lines of a show that was created by Musical Truth, Steve Pointer and myself called Minstrel’s Song. The line was spoken by Simeon who, in our story, was the leader of a band of travelling circus players. As well as travelling, Simeon was waiting for something – someone.
That someone was the Minstrel who joined their show. He was the Jesus figure, killed at the end of the first act only to be seen walking out on the streets again in the second act. The Minstrel’s Song of the title comes from a Moody Blues song of the same title which says, at one point, ‘Listen to the one who sings of love’. It was an amazing show which one day may be performed again but only if I can afford a circus tent to perform it in and a cast of circus performers to show their skills as a backdrop to the narrative.
But to get back to my travelling. It nearly didn’t happen at all. A couple of days before I was due to set off the oil pressure warning light came on in the car. Even I with very little mechanical knowledge, knew that could be serious and expensive. In fact, because it happened over the Bank Holiday weekend, I spent 3 days wondering how I was going to be able to afford a new car and thus fulfil my travelling commitments.
But thanks to the kindness of strangers – well, not so much a stranger but a mechanic friend of a friend who is becoming a friend of mine – all was well in time for me to begin my journeying. From the start John was convinced that it was only the oil pressure sensor that was at fault. Once he was able to replace that with a new one the problem was solved.
It did mean for a few days I had use local buses to get from A to B. I discovered once more how a journey of perhaps 15 minutes by car became one of 90 plus minutes – and only that if all the connections came on time. When they didn’t I had time to stand and think and watch the world go by. I met interesting people and was able to share a little of their lives. So much more difficult when you’re hurtling down a motorway at 60 miles per hour!
But I have been doing some of that as well – and spending a lot of time dodging those who think I should go faster even when I can’t. Don’t get me wrong. The car is capable of reaching 70 – and perhaps more – but my standard motorway driving is to stay behind – with a suitable gap – something like container lorry to let him do the driving and reduce the air resistance hitting my car. Of course, once or twice you have to be sharp on the brakes when they suddenly have to slow down for something you cannot see.
That in itself is a bit of a way to lead your life in general. Follow someone or something that is bigger than you (in one way or another) and let him or it lead you while making your journey easier.
Another thought has struck me after one part of one of those journeys. Nearing my home roads I saw notices warning me of delays on a particular stretch of main road. On the outward journey I was aware of those road works – they’d been going on for weeks. However, there didn’t seem to be any delays. So foolishly I continued in their direction on my homeward bound travel.
Guess what? The roadworks were back and so were the delays. Cursing myself for not paying attention to the signs I had seen – which would have meant I could have used my local knowledge to avoid the delay – I crawled along with the rest until the next exit was reached and back roads taken.
So, there you have it. As you go through life not only be prepared to accept the kindness of strangers, try to keep in touch with the world around you, be guided by another who is going the same way and can make your journey easier but always be ready to make your own way when the signs point to troubles ahead.
And always, listen to the one who sings of love.