Stop and stare therapy

I went for a walk yesterday.

Nothing new in that, something I do although not often enough. This time though, I walked to the garage to collect my car as it was being repaired. The garage was seven miles away, I planned my route to walk across country roads, which is actually the more direct route and off I set.

I live in rural Oxfordshire and at most times of the year, it is particularly beautiful but it is more so at this time of year. As I walked on roads I hadn’t travelled before or certainly not often, I had time to stop, look and take in the sights that were presented.

It reminded of the poem Leisure, by W.H. Davies:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

It was ever so poignant as I walked down towards the river at the start of my journey and I saw a squirrel standing in front of me who didn’t move away quickly up a tree, as they are prone to do. The squirrel meandered up the bank towards the trees in a casual way, not really giving the getaway its full attention or concern. In short, not one crap was given and I liked the attitude.

There were many moments like that along the way, which was largely devoid of traffic, give or take the occasional vehicle. The peace was astounding and each corner brought something new.

It also brought home how this damned illness has hit me. Six months ago I’d have skipped along the road without real thought to the distance or it becoming a chore. Yesterday I was heavy legged and felt the fatigue set in early on, which I worked through and glad I did or I’d still be there today, which wasn’t an option.

Today, I feel tired and a bit sore, mainly my back which causes me problems every now and then. I’m pleased that I mentally prepared to do the walk and got it done, plus seeing nature as well as man’s impact on the land.

I am disappointed that I am not as fit as I was and I have to take action to resolve this. Doesn’t have to be much but it has to be more than I am doing right now. One thing that this illness has taught me is that exercise is good for you, walking and thinking or letting thoughts meander is therapeutic and gets rid of the stress in the body.

It’s well worth the effort.

Be kind to yourself.



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