For the past few years I have justified my leaving a permanent job, moving cities and relocating my youngest to a new school by holding onto the fact that I was coddiwompling – to “coddiwomple” means “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”. 

Now, three years later it is officially one month since I started here at the Ripple and already I feel like I belong.   Such an important thing, to feel welcomed, valued, part of something.  I have been getting out and about, meeting new faces, new people as well as getting to know the volunteers who give their time to making the Ripple the place that it is. 

Like most things, you only realise how important something is when you lose it.  Having ‘lost’ my sense of place and belonging I have been lucky to find that feeling again.  Already I can see how important the Ripple is to the people who come here for their sense of belonging, someone who knows them, calls them by their name, asks how they are, remembers what they like to eat (or don’t like) knows what they were doing last week and is interested.

My other word I came across recently was “slipshape” – which is in contrast to “shipshape” (tidy, ordered, regulated) and suggests a state of being that is fluid uncertain & flows. 

If we at The Ripple manage to travel purposefully towards a destination that is fluid and flowing whilst uncertain I will be more than happy to have both created a new word, Coddishaping, womple-slipping? And be a part of something good that is bigger than me.

nb the word ‘Slipshape’ comes from Alice Oswald’s work ‘Dart

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