I am being Not Lost
The Riddle of Strider
I became aware that I was wandering about online exploring links containing the word ontological and that thought prompted me to type into the search ‘Not all those who wander are lost’. From there I meandered into Tolkien’s poem The Riddle of Strider.*
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
I love this riddle poem because
- It turns the old saying ‘All that glitters is not gold” upside down. Putting the emphasis on the glittering rather than the gold is open to all sorts of interpretations and for me it feels like an invitation to a new way of seeing the world.
- Wandering is an important part of my life. It’s a great way of discovering something new. On the walk that morning I discovered a community orchard (another of my favourite things) which I had no idea was there.
- The suggestion that some old can also be strong speaks to my trust in old sayings, customs, stories and rhymes containing the possibility of an ancient truth that could be relevant now or in the future.
You can probably imagine how I respond to ‘Deep roots are not reached by the frost’ but I encourage you to forget about what I think and find your own interpretations.
It’s no coincidence that this happened immediately after I had been for a walk in which the turning I took led me much further away from my goal than I anticipated and, for a while, I had no idea where I was going.
When I met a young woman and her dog for the second time she actually asked me, “You’re not lost are you?”. I thanked her for her kindness, assured her that I was not lost, and carried on wandering.
I enjoyed that walk. I enjoyed not knowing where I was and how I would get to my destination without turning back. It gave me a sense of freedom.
I invite you see beyond my thoughts. Go for a wander of your own. Enjoy the freedom of not knowing where you are while being Not Lost.
Ontologically speaking, you can begin to practice your own Not Lostness.
I trust you will discover something wonderful.
The Riddle of Strider appears in The Fellowship of the Ring: the first book in the trilogy The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien