Every single time I pass this apple tree in Mount Congreve Gardens, I find myself stopping to think about that word ‘Discovery.’

Sometimes it brings me straight back to Tuesday afternoons when I was in 4th class in primary school and the session that was set aside for us to read about famous discoverers like Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo. I would get lost in their adventures and wonder  where they got their bravery from as they faced the unknown.

The ‘unknown’ seemed to be all about rough seas, horizons, spotting land, sailing ships, anchors, drifting, wild joy, mad excitement, trepidation, finding, losing, journeying.

Back then, I saw ‘the unknown’ as being totally associated with BIG stories and famous people. It didn’t seem to have any direct relationship to me.

How perceptions change! Now I see ‘discovery’ and ‘the unknown’ as being a fundamental part of everyday life and as being associated with everything from the mundane to the extraordinary.

This weekend, seeing ‘Discovery’ brought me to wondering if Ireland’s soccer team could possibly beat France in the knockout stages of EURO 2016. Alas, they couldn’t/didn’t but they sure tried their best.

It has also had me pondering about the future of the United Kingdom and the European Union. The UK are our closest neighbours here in Ireland and they certainly seem to be on a journey into the unknown.

At a personal level, I’m more than conscious that positive and negative unknowns are waiting to unfold. These are not things that I can always have control over.

And all the while, I think of Socrates’ point that ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

I’d love to know what you’d be likely to be thinking about as you paused beneath ‘Discovery.’






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 “Discovery”

  1. Easy one, Jean – I would be thinking about my life and business mantra which is simply: Explore. Discover. Be.

    I like that you choose to couple “the unknown” with discovery. They very much go hand-in-hand and together, open us to new possibilities (provided we are willing to step outside our comfort zones). 🙂

    1. Glad this resonates with you, Eric.
      I agree about the issue of willingness to step outside our comfort zones. However, I’m akways minful of the way in which that can be a matter of having our comfort zones dragged from under us, for example, having a loved one struck down with a devastating injury which poses huge challenges on both the loved one and his/her family.
      I wonder, too, if it would have been more of a challenge to some of the great explorers to have to stay home and be house-husbands!

  2. I’m sorry about your soccer team, though they should be proud of the way they battled. I’m sorry also for the confusion and unrest that seems to be surrounding the UK. It’s all very surprising to many in both sides of that choice.
    Discovery for me would be where the next phase of my life will take me and what adventures await.

  3. Discovery is such a great word. The implications are life changing. We humans don’t create or invent in the physical world – we discover, Meaning all was here before us and we just stumble upon it. Some discoveries never cease to amaze me – like they were deliberately secreted for our finding enjoyment. For instance who would ever have thought that bread mold would contain a powerful antibiotic that has saved countless human lives – penicillin. Or that many other medications – chemicals that affect the human metabolism to make life better – like acetylsalicilic acid (ASA or aspirin) which came from the bark of the birch tree – are naturally occurring and important. “Discovery” makes it so clear that we are a part of this world and it is a part of us and that there is intelligent design in our lives. And it has major similarities to quantum physics wherein all possibilities already exist – we just choose one and actualize it. We “discover” As opposed to Newtonian physics where each situation has a precursor which created the current situation. Some discoveries are horrific – as in when humanity discovered how to split the atom and use that energy to make nuclear bombs.

    But still there is the excitement of discoveries, the sure knowledge that what we uncover will affect humanity. I love the word “discovery”

  4. I’m sorry too about the soccer team and from all accounts they tried their best. I’m very sad about what’s happening in the UK and some of the awful posts I’ve read on twitter have shocked me. But, then I remember, people, for what ever reason are hurting and sometimes all they need is a way to express it, so that can can be assured that people are really listening. We look forward to our election on the weekend and that’s where discovery will become a daily ritual for us. But, life can be an adventure and I’m so grateful I’m here to enjoy:):).

  5. We all see things in a different light…some see the surface only while others look into the depth.. When we explore the unknown we come face to face with our fears and when we’re done we have discovered things about ourselves..Some will explore while others put up barriers or take a detour rather then dealing with the issues at hand..We discover that in the face of adversity some take a stand while some turn away..

    1. Tom, I guess you’re right that there are different levels of discovery. I wonder, though, to what extent it is possible or indeed wise to disengage too much with the past as it is so much a part of our present and a huge toolbox of experience.

        1. I’m not so sure I would use the word ‘clinging, ‘ Tom. Perhaps, ‘ not learning enough from …’
          I think there could be a lot more compassion, order and joy if we could learn from the past at both personal and societal levels. Clearly, you have a different view?

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