We were told not to go.
Stay away from the big house.
That's venturing too far.
It's outside the boundary.
Yet our daring curiosity got the better of us. We read books like The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Secret Garden. We were all of them. All of the characters on different days. Our group of friends. Growing up together to take on the challenges of the world. Brave, brazen and bold.
Hopping in and out of each others' houses. Chatting; playing; rounders on the road; tip the can, in the summer. And when it snowed, asking the Coal Man for spare sacks so we could slide down the road on our bottoms.
This particular day, we stepped out further. I don't know whose idea it was.
The big estate house stood boldly at the top of the winding driveway. At the entrance to our street. The house was surrounded by mature trees - oaks, horse chestnut, ash. Huge and vast to 9 or 10 year old children. A high stone wall supported 2 big black solid metal gates. Usually closed. But on this day, they were open.
Open gates. I wonder what would happen, if, just if, we stepped inside the boundaries of this mysterious house? Outside of the boundaries set for us. We could find out if it really is haunted; or if people do really live in it. We could get closer to the giant trees and collect conkers for our games.
You go first, I said, nudging my friend forwards.
Then in we all followed. Creating our very real adventure. Rusty, my friends' dog, by our side. A river running down from the house on the right. On we walked up the gravel driveway. Feeling exposed; fearful yet full of excitement. We shouldn't be here, we sniggered to each other. Big smiles across all of our faces. Proper explorers. Pioneers!
And then we saw him. Cycling at speed down the driveway. Skidding to a stop beside where we had been.
We turned. We ran.
Laughing frantically all the while.
He called to us, asking if we wanted to explore the house. He, being the caretaker. It didn't take much for us to decide - yes of course we could love to explore the house. Is it haunted? Is it full of cobwebs? How many chimneys does it have?
We knew we shouldn't. No-one else knew where we were. But we wanted to. And so we did. Our intuition telling us that this was safe.
He showed us around. On up to the balcony that we got to by climbing up a narrow windy stairs. Out onto what felt like the top of the world. Look I can see my house from here, through the thick foliage of the trees. How exciting!
Cautiously we climbed down. Thanked him for his patience and went on our way.
As we skipped down the gravel driveway towards home, we replayed the moment when he chased us by bike. How scared we felt. How our instincts kicked in. And how fun it was. So many belly laughs, and still, to this day, when we meet up, we recreate that belly laugh moment.
We made a pact. We can't tell our parents. We'll get into trouble. Mam, if you're reading this, I will explain every-thing! We stepped out of the boundaries set out for us. We went somewhere we shouldn't have gone. And what an adventure we had!
This pioneering spirit; curiosity sprinkled with boldness continues to bring me momentum. To offer training and soul based coaching to my clients, to you, for you to create your own adventures; to develop alternative ways. To step outside of your self-defined boundaries and to discover such deep insights along the way.
It's all within you, waiting for your discovery.
Contact me for a complimentary consultation to talk about what you would like to have happen.
"The best way to treat obstacles is to treat them as stepping stones. Let them lead you to something better."
- Enid Blyton