The Art of Discovery


There’s an apple tree of the ‘Discovery’ variety just inside the walled garden of Mount Congreve and every single time I pass it, I stop and ponder.

Life is all about discovery and being open to discovering. I love this quote about ‘discovery’ from Isaac Newton:

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only a child playing on the seashore while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.  

I’ve always loved reading about great discoverers but I’m coming to realise more and more that what may be perceived as tiny, everyday discoveries can be hugely significant.

This morning, I met what felt like ‘Black Monday’ when I was out for my constitutional with Puppy Stan  She was well dressed, wearing dark glasses and passed within about two feet of us on the path. I said a cheery ‘hello’ and she walked by us as if we weren’t there.

My gut instinct was to turn round and shout after her:

“Hey, it wouldn’t have killed you to at least acknowledge my presence. I am the only other person around here right now.”

But, I kept my thoughts to myself and decided that maybe she was so preoccupied with some burning issue that she hadn’t even seen us or heard me.

Perhaps I’ll meet her again tomorrow or the next day and maybe, just maybe I’ll ‘discover’ the true story behind ‘Black Monday’ because there simply has to be one.

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

20 thoughts on “The Art of Discovery”

  1. She could have been deaf or might have been lost in her thoughts…next time look her right in eyes and smile and say good morning again ..I would do it everytime I saw her..eventually she should lighten up. I know when I’m concentrating on something, I’m oblivious to everything. Perhaps she was raised not to talk to strangers, now a days that’s good advice as you don’t know who you might be dealing with. That apple looks so inviting as if to say “take a bite out of life”…

    1. Hi Joni, she would have had to be very deaf and very blind not to, at least, have a sense of our presence. I suspect that she was deep in thought.
      I’d hate to think that even if she was raised to not speak to strangers that a grown woman could perceive Puppy Stan and me as any kind of a threat, especially in a place surrounded by houses and in broad daylight.

      The apple makes me think of the Garden of Eden!

      1. Thinking isn’t all bad. Isaac Newton thought, and not all of it was wrong, either. In fact, René Descartes considered it evidence of being. Once while he was finishing up an ale at the pub, the bartender asked:
        “Hey, René. One more for the road?” Descartes replied:
        “I think not,”
        …and disappeared.

  2. What a poignant post, Jean, and I couldn’t help smile at your wanting to shout at her. Everyone has a story and everyone has problems so who knows what lies deep in her heart…hopefully, you will see her again and she’ll offer a smile for a brighter day.

  3. Some people are just not socialable ..they go about their business and the world passes them by. we have alot go by our house some will be pleasant while others look straight ahead and don’dt acknowledge you if you say hello. We sit on our front porch and people watch…

  4. That is unusual for Ireland, not so unusual elsewhere. It used to bother me fellow jogger-runners not reciprocating with a wave or a gasped ‘hi’ but not any more. Why would I be bothered? No one has a duty to engage.

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