One of my favorite things to do is to wander the streets and come across little delights as I discover new places. These can be little lane ways full of images, smells and noises which are unique to their special location.
As I wander along these lane ways I wonder about the inhabitants. Who are the people who have painted or posted the images on the wall? What were they thinking when they did this? Who were they hoping to attract to read their messages? As I peer in the little windows I am curious about the shop keepers as well as the customers. What are they thinking? What are they talking about?
I've thought about where this appeal comes from for me. Why am I so delighted by these micro adventures - these little journeys that may only last a few minutes as I wander in and out of these unique places. I try to think about what it reminds me of and I can only come up with one childhood story that resonates: Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree. I remember reading that story and being fascinated by the little characters all living communally, sharing the tree as their home. Each character had their own personality and traits. Each impacted on the other in myriad ways. Then on a regular basis a land appeared at the top of the tree for a short time. The characters could enter the land and explore it - carefully while minding the time to ensure they left before the land moved on.
I would have loved to have joined them on these adventures. I would have loved to have adopted this sense of adventure into my own life - but that has taken many decades to achieve. Having kids, studying and working stole some of those adventures - or probably more accurately created a different set of adventures.
So wandering through these lane ways reminds me of the adventures the folk of the faraway tree had when they entered a new land. That sense of interest and curiosity, some slight risk as you didn't know what you might encounter but mostly a great sense of satisfaction that you've discovered something new, something a little bit secret.