I woke this morning to a brighter light than normal coming through my closed curtains.
I had seen before going to bed, just passed about one this morning, that it would imminently snow.
As I was in the garden fagging, I looked up to see the sky; a bright radiant orange. Sulphuric rays from street lamps bouncing off a bright white sky gave an eerie mandarin luminescence to the whole scene.
I confess that I woke today feeling far more down-hearted than I have of late. It was almost as if the snow had been an emotional trigger transporting me back to when enough had been enough (See The Beginning and Ergo I will go).
I thought I had ‘worked through’ my feelings, but I recall last night, I dreamt of small wild ponies running around an area of woodland recently cleared of rhododendron. I can only guess that the dream was brought on by a memory of a nature reserve near to Ashford (See here) where I have been a few times in the not too distant past. Wild horses run free there and I have taken a number of walks there.
I have never historically been a big fan of pointless walking to nowhere. so why this isolated snippet of a dream should have such a profound affect is a bit of a mystery.
On the subject of walking; when I was a child, our Dad used to take us for a ‘blow out’ on Sunday. We would do all sorts of public footpaths which cuts Kent (the garden of England) into a wonderful rich, colourful patchwork of countryside.
My favourite was nicknamed by us “Seven mile walk”.
Seven mile walk went from the entrance of Hever castle to a place called Chiddingstone. We would get a drink of milk in a small tea rooms opposite the church, before turning back again and finally getting back to the car exhausted.
More recently I always liked the idea of walking from A-B (maybe toward a pub). Walking around for the sake of walking was something I never understood, but I think now I get it again. I feel as if I have rediscovered an old toy, a long lost taste of the past.
It’s good to just get out and walk on your own. It’s nice being in the fresh air. It’s also good talking to other people and walking rather than just staying in to chat. Even a short stroll is better than none at all.
I am sure to most this does not sound too revolutionary but for me it’s almost miraculous. Those who have been closest to me would be able to confirm how little I used to walk. Again I think that my old man should take some credit for my not wanting to walk anywhere. As he got older, he simply stopped walking, or at least very rarely walked – he preferred to drive everywhere. He would park as close as he possibly could to the entrance of super and hyper markets and if ‘good’ parking wasn’t available, he would sometimes drive home to go back later. Maybe in my complex psyche I was trying to emulate my father, even the weird bits.
In the past also I never really used to stay in for very long, I was always popping around to different people’s houses or driving between projects at work, so the concept of feeling the four walls bearing down on me never really happened until earlier this year when the feeling of cabin fever took its toll. My lack of interest in walking may have felt to those close to me like a lack of empathy for their need to get out and walk in the air; and maybe it was.
This may be another area where my work or my life at that moment in time was sucking the goodness out of me. I was tired, I remember that, but now I feel younger and over the last six months much more full of hope and energy.
Lately with the weather here in the UK getting considerably colder and with the darkness descending much earlier in the day, I can seriously see the benefit of taking a stroll for no particular reason other than taking a stroll and getting out.
Having not pointlessly walked for a while, and having reflected on it I know that I miss it greatly. I went walking in Lanzarote occasionally (cycling lots) and have been on a few good walks since getting back to the UK including a place down the road from Reading.
Anyhow, the sight of snow and the dream of horses have left me wanting to walk more than avoid the unforgiving cold. The balance of goodness has again tipped the right way or at least is tipping.