Shed my skin


I upped the fitness regime today and am feeling the burn as we speak.  My legs are all achey.  The newer fitter me was embarrassed today when I crossed the road whilst reading messages on my phone and I tripped and fell the length of myself.  I recovered enough to sit up on the pavement, laugh nervously and walk on my way – all whilst desperately trying hard not to rub my sore elbow or limp.  Apart from bruised pride, I managed to keep moving on and got on with my day.

I have written three poems tonight – not too pleased with them but I think the idea behind them is sound, they just need a little more work.  I am slowly getting back to full fitness in a lot of ways.  I am out of practice with the running, with the writing and with living my life – for me.  It always seems that when things are clicking into place with my life that something else pops up that complicates everything.

So where did escape to today? I took a couple of walks.  I did not manage to get in the zone and use the time to regenerate my nerves, one of the walks included my kids and they were having an off day.  Tension was at a major high tonight.  So now that I am on my own I will try to describe how my walks make me feel.

When I leave the house with the kids (who I whole heartedly adore) I start to feel the anticipation of how I feel when they go walk into the school.  I love their little faces, my little boy has the wonder of life written all over his face every day.  My youngest daughter – on her way to school she turns into my baby again.  She wants to hold my hand and get my undivided attention.  She opens up to me and shares how she feels in that walk to school and I love it. 

Once they walk into the school – everything changes.  I stand up straight, walking boots on, backpack in place, dog for company and ready for adventure.  The wish is to get away, get away from my life, get away from people, get away from civilisation.  I walk ferociously as if my life depends on it.  I walk away anger, stress, worry, negativity, doubt and bad feelings. 

I walk through an invisible doorway into a land where real life cant touch me.  It is as if I can feel every particle of the oxygen that I breathe and it starts working immediately to make me feel better.  I get lost in the weather, be it rain, shine, snow, sleet and more rain.  On the hill it is dark and shaded because of the lovely trees that provide a canopy over the path.  For a few minutes every day I feel like I am walking through a portal back into my life.  Stepping out of the pathway at the top of the hill, everything lightens, seems clearer, easier to breathe. 

I get lost in the colour infusion from the green fields, various wild flowers and the grey rain clouds as they float through the sky.  I am inundated with the smells of animals, plants, and other wildlife.  Its like living in technicolour with no bad moods to cloud my vision.  In summer the place is overgrown, claustrophobically glorious with foliage reaching out to greet you and perhaps trap you in its welcoming branches.  I hear sheep, cows, birds and the regular hum of nearby pylons – the only proof that normality and civilisation still exists. 

In my minds eye, I am as free as a bird, I can soar the heights and watch the world go by.  I feel  compelled to explore with a childlike curiosity, collecting flowers, leaves or just sit and watch the world go by.  I take provisions just in case I get lost.  Maybe some times I want to get lost.  It does not seem too hard to collect branches, foliage and other natural utensils to fashion myself a hide.  Some haven built just for me. 

I would use it to expand my mind, read books I have promised myself I will get to soon.  Read about nature whilst being at one with it.  I can spectate as the terrain changes over the months, trees staying evergreen.  Other plants paring back for the winter – shedding off their summer finery and showing their nude glory.  What a wondrous excitement to my day.  I feel full of natural thoughts, images come to me and I try to capture them on paper but never feel like I have done them justice. 

Then all too soon we are at the end of the road – or the beginning whatever way you want to see it.  The road through the woods ends and the road back to town begins.  I march, building up a sweat as I try to maximise this exercise time.  My walk has purpose and intention.  I am strengthening my self; so I can cope with real life again. 

The road is hard on my feet, the callouses come quickly and the blisters create pressure points that remind me life is challenging.  The dog has been roaming free but on the road he gets leashed again to stop him from walking into the traffic.  We chum each other on the road, buddies just trying to get by.  I feel the weight of responsibility again but just knowing my haven is waiting for me makes it all okay.  It is a regular journey of recuperation, regeneration and redemption.  The three Rs.




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