I’ve developed a routine of walking for and hour or so in the evening once the wee lad is safely in bed. It’s still light until nine and the golden weather gives me no excuse to stay in and watch rubbish television. Goodness knows what I’m going to do once daylight savings finishes. (Hint: it could be something to do with rubbish television). I’m not a fan of the dark, even when I’m inside, so walking outdoors and alone of a dark winter’s evening does not a lot for me. It’s one of the perils of having an active imagination. Open wardrobes, reflections in dark mirrors, shadowy bushes, echoey footsteps; all give me the heebies.
Anyway, for the moment, my evening walks are delightful. It’s good to walk because it’s good to walk. You’ve seen the fit bit advertisements, you know this.
Also, and more relevant and important in my case: headspace and literal space. I crave and appreciate time by myself. Oh ho, I have always been happy in my own company but these days, wowser, being alone for any length of time is a treat. An hour with just music, weather and the view for company is like therapy. It’s also a bit like therapy because I spend most of it talking myself through the questions, troubles and highlights of the day.
The talking’s in my head, I hasten to add; I’ve not quite reached that level of odd-ball yet. Although I did wonder, not so long ago, why a passing man gave me a bemused look and then I realised that I had started singing aloud to the song in my headphones. A particularly sweet friend assured me that since it was Adele with whom I was singing, such behaviour was acceptable. I’m sure that we all wholeheartedly agree.
Something that has struck me, simple and yet profound, is the fact that even though my nightly route doesn’t change, I almost always notice some new detail or variation or fragment of beauty as I walk along. Often it’s the sky. The way the clouds form and move or how fingers of light filter through and touch the hillsides in such a way. The wind making ridges in the pond that I pass half way round. The waxiness of olives on the trees. The classic summer smell of light rain on hot concrete. One evening, a leathery goat’s leg and hoof, lonely and strange on the side of the road.
Sometimes I have to stop and look and breathe it in and appreciate how stunning it all is. Small moments. Small things. As true on my walks as in life, I think.
Breathe it in.