The Pitfalls of Planning
Last weekend I went for a hike through a national park in Luxembourg with my family. The aim: to search out the waterfall that the large map at the entrance of the park displayed in all its majesty. The first part of the trail led us to this:
Yes, we were going in…and down… My only thought was, climbing down meant there would be a lot of climbing up later – doh! But I kept my thoughts to myself. After all, my in-laws are both in their late seventies and they didn’t grumble one iota. In fact they tackled those crooked steps with relative ease.
And down we went. The roots of the trees were persistent in their attempt to trip us up:
We traversed through fissures and crevices formed in the rocks that surrounded us, and followed the small wooden signs nailed to trees, saying, ‘Waterfall this way’.At the beginning of the trail, the waterfall was approximately 2 miles away – easy peasy. When we reached the next sign 1,5 miles. Great! Progress being made. But then, after about an hour and a half of ducking and diving rock formations and descending into the depths of the unknown, another sign laughed out loud with its pointy end and said, ‘Waterfall, 3,5 miles’. Huh? Then I looked up:
Even the sun thought it was funny!
We never did find the waterfall. But the adventure was such a thrill and the ending rewarding:
The journey reminded me of story writing: no matter how much we plan, we have to allow the journey to take us where it wants to take us. It’s a hard slog, but in the end we will get there, even if we end up in a completely different place than intended.
Do you stick rigidly to plans? Do you allow a story to take you into unknown territory?