To me, life is one (hopefully) long journey, full of dirt roads, blind alleys, and exhilarating straightaways. Some people pick a target and spend their days marching inexorably towards it, while others zig and zag, trying to see as much as possible. It’s doubtful that there is a wrong choice, since we’re all headed for the same place, and my only advice for travellers is to wear comfortable shoes.
In my first novel, The Last Prospector, many journeys start with the birth of a special baby. All of the characters are travelling separate roads to the same place.
Travelling is a metaphor for living, and there are many kinds of travellers. Some people make their finest discoveries at home, because a journey of the mind is as valuable as a physical one. Some people can think their way down a road with the same ease as walking, and they reap the same rewards. Other people pack a bag and literally travel, seeing the world with their physical eyes and leaving a mark on all the places they visit.
I created the world of Solstice to be a traveller’s paradise, full of grand spectacles and arcane magicks. It is Prospector’s destiny to travel the long road that started a thousand years earlier, with the first Prospector. He doesn’t know exactly where he’s bound, he doesn’t even know why. But he does know he’s the last, the final link in an unbroken chain, and the end of Solstice begins with him.
Prospector is not the sort of man to fret about the future though. He loves travelling and he knows that the journey is equally as important as the destination. Just because his fate is sealed is no reason not to relish a good meal or a good friend. In fact, as Prospector says:
“Here’s what I do know brother. Life is not what ye do tomorrow, nor what ye did yesterday. It’s what you’re doing right now, yeah? It’s the journey, Tibaryus, that’s the thing.”
It is the thing, the right now, this moment. Life is made from billions of tiny moments and great distances can be travelled in the same time it takes to draw a breath. A simple trip to the corner store can be an epic adventure, and a tentative step into the unknown can bring fulfillment beyond imagining.
Your life is a journey, and the time to start embracing your road is right now. Don’t put off seeing the sights on your way to someplace better, even the humblest surroundings can offer treasure. Every step you take, every flight of fancy you embark upon, every question that must be answered is another place highlighted on the map of your life. When you look back at where you’ve been and remember all those steps, some easy, some not, take pride in surviving them all.
Two years ago, I started my journey into Solstice. It’s a wide-open road I’m still travelling, a story only beginning to be told, and I hope to make new friends along the way. Please consider visiting Solstice and taking that trip with me. Remember, there’s always a hot meal waiting for you, because in Solstice travellers are always welcome.
The Last Prospector marks Cairn Rodrigues‘ debut in publishing. A former stay-at-home mom, she attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and has worked in many facets of the hospitality industry. She was the chef and owner of Café 455 in Sacramento before retiring from professional kitchens in 2007. Born and raised in Sacramento, she is a devout lover of California and still lives near her hometown. Cairn also loves animals, gardening, TV, and Bruce Springsteen. You can buy her book here.