I’ve been a bit lost lately, literally, not figuratively. The first instance was whilst out running in Cosmeston Lakes. I tend to stick to the well-won path around the lake, but I’m not sure why, but one Friday morning I decided to turn down a lane and off in to the forest and see where that lane took me. It seemed a while before I found that well-trod trail again....

The second time, a couple of weeks later, was whilst walking in Monmouthshire, going off-piste this time meant clambering along narrow, wooded winding paths, through nettles, fields of corn, past curious cows and across a stream.

Then just yesterday, whilst en route to Bath, we had to divert and ended up lost and confused driving around Bristol in the pouring rain. At one point, a... I’m choosing my words carefully here in a way he did not, an apparently inconsiderate, ignorant human being pulled up beside me in his very big silver Range Rover, wound down his window and issued a series of ‘F Words’ in my direction. The fact I had two children in the car, deterred him not. My crime, I had been in front of him, popped my indicator on and made him wait for about thirty seconds whilst I moved over in to the correct lane.

It all got me thinking about direction and the thing of getting or being lost, metaphorically. In Cosmeston I knew I was never that far from something familiar; in Monmouthshire there was a map; in Bath there was a sat nav, even if at times, due to weather and traffic, I struggled to do what the lady in the sat nav said.

I’ve a nephew and a friend who’s son are both doing their A Levels and it is such a time of choice. I have friends going through rocky relationships; work difficulties; family turbulence; heath concerns – what do we do when there is no electronic voice telling us which way to turn, no map and no feeling that just around the bend we’ll find the familiar? Getting lost can be a time of excitement. It can generate ideas, open up new avenues and shake up the stale. It can also feel excruciating and scary. There are some paths that we take from whence there is no return, some choices we make that spurs a set of circumstances that will change you forever, for good or ill. How do we know and then what?

There are wisdom-spouting memes circulated on social media, that under scrutiny are often the shallowest form of deep. Often urging the ‘go for it!’ school of thought, whilst I do sometimes find myself thinking, fair play, I like a proper safety net, something more than a meme from someone I barely know. I need to know that in being brave enough occasionally to get lost, there is someone there to find me. That doesn’t happen instantly. It happens by investing in and nurturing those around you.