Something that became particularly prevalent in my life in the first UK lockdown of last year, was the presence of long, family walks. For context, my family have always been big on walking. The fact that I have lots of family in Devon means that every holiday (pre-covid), we were bundled into the car, a big blue bag full of wellies, walking boots and raincoats taking up at least half of the car boot, and the moment we arrived we would set off up some hill or another, not to return until later that day.
I always enjoyed these times: my clarity of thought seemed to improve as we climbed further and further away from the ground, staring out at the tiny towns scattered across the rolling fields like toy villages. On our most recent trip, we braved a huge, foreboding hill covered in roaming wild horses and large, intimidating rocks. Having climbed right to the top, we saw the most amazing sunset- pink and amber swirls of cloud that danced across the light blue sky, as the sunlight from the burnt orange orb sunk lower behind the neighbouring hills.
Walking has always brought me peace. It then became just about the only thing we were legally allowed to do in the height of the pandemic.
I’m fortunate to live near lots of countryside, which made getting out for walks and exercise a lot easier. I’ve also found recently that listening to audiobooks as I’m walking makes for a wonderful past-time- I feel like I’m getting even more reading done whilst also getting out for some much needed fresh-air and me time.
When I’m out for a walk in the middle of nowhere, spots of warm sunlight on my face and birds chirping softly in the trees, life appears to move just a little more slowly. Being surrounded by nature and wildlife will do that to a person, I suppose. It remains one of my favourite, most peaceful past-times, and something I hope to continue doing long after the easing of the pandemic restrictions.