Broadcast on BBC Radio Devon Pause for Thought 7th January 2018
Last year I was given the book The White Road by Edmund de Waal. It is wonderful book in which Edmund describes his pilgrimage to walk the history of porcelain. Early on in the book the author paints a picture of how you make porcelain and his own personal journey as a potter. Then on arriving at the base of mount Kao-Ling in China there is a wonderful description of the shards of white porcelain found in the red earth including a base of a 12th century wine cup.
On his departure back to Shanghai Edmund talks about how on the plane there is so much porcelain that all the overhead lockers are filled and the loo is requisitioned. Next to him is a man who had a model of a helicopter and as he spoke to him he realised that many other people were getting on the plane with model helicopters. Edmund realised that he had missed the helicopter side of the city and his companion the porcelain.
It struck me that looking only for what we expect see we may miss the unexpected.
One of the wonderful things about living in Tiverton is being able to walk along the canal path. Now there is no porcelain along the canal path but there are Kingfishers. However, you only see the orange and blue of the Kingfisher as it takes flight if you have time to stop and expect the unexpected.
I hope that in the coming year we will find time to stop and to have eyes to see the unexpected.