Off The Beaten Track

I’ve just finished reading The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.

The cover reminded me a little of that Nirvana album. You know, the one with the baby swimming beneath the water?

image

When I first started reading it, the story itself reminded me of Something Wicked This Way Comes. I’m not sure why, as it’s been many years since I read that book. Perhaps one of you guys could help me out.

The following lines resonated:

Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath the rhododendrons to find the spaces between the fences.

And, later on, in case it somehow slipped me by:

Children, as I have said, use back ways and hidden tracks, while adults take roads and official paths.

I need to start venturing once again off the beaten track. Even if it is just in my imagination. The routes that I take these days are safe and short. I need to once in a while step off the path, and just meander.

Books such as this remind me.

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17 thoughts on “Off The Beaten Track

  1. Alas, now that “unsupervised play” is against the law in many towns and cities, children will no longer explore or use back ways. They will be raised as if they were insects, or prisoners.

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  2. I like that cover better than the one I have!
    I love that line! It reminds me of childhood. We were always off exploring, particularly whatever was underneath my mother’s carefully planted flowers. 🙂

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  3. I understand the comparison to SWTWC. I have been reading Neil Gaiman since Sandman, which I adore. American Gods is probably my favourite novel by him. This one sat gathering dust on my bedside table. I kept starting, but not engaging. Then I hurt my back and ended up smashed on codeine. Stoned, I adored it! Not sure what that says about me!

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    • Some of the more memorable moments are the chance discoveries, unplanned for and unexpected. When Jen and I were walking through a pine forest in the Scottish Highlands, we came upon an old cemetery. In the middle of a forest, this was the last thing we were expecting to find. Of course, Jen was made up 🙂

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