Sunday, 30 November 2014

Slow walk, Croft Castle

After a day of walking around Hopton Titterhill and then around the parkland and woods at Croft Castle it was time to slow down a little and do one of my favourite meditative walks. I had sat for a quite a while on the edge of the promontory of Croft Ambrey overlooking the Vale of Wigmore. The air was misty and I could not see much beyond the nearest fields below me, certainly not to the middle distant hills and beyond into Wales. It was pleasantly mild and dry. Walking down off the hill, through the woods and then the parkland was a perfect way to end the day and to slow down and forget the world around me. I found a slow pace that showed no need for hurry or care about what I should do next. Just one slow step at a time. Looking. Observing. Listening, smelling. Sensing. With the distant view obscured by the mist I have to look close around me. To the trees, the fungi, the ferns, the colours, the brambles. As I have mentioned in other posts I just love looking closely at the natural world. Not always understanding it from a scientific point of view, but admiring it for its colours, shapes, forms, patterns etc.

High up on one of the conifers a crow caws. A deep loud crackly caw that echoes through the mist and the trees. I can barely see it, high up on an uppermost branch, a back shape amongst the blackness of the trees. It seems small and yet it's call is so loud, piercing the diminishing evening light and the misty space over the acres of newly felled trees. In the surrounding trees of the woodland edges that are still standing I can here the evening chattering of blackbirds, the occasional wren and the inevitable high picked cheeps of what are probably gold crests or tits. I think there should be a new word for these unseen small birds that inhabit woodland like this. I never quite know what they are but they are just small cheepy things.

I always enjoy this walk because it speaks to me of returning to civilisation after a venture into the wilderness. A sense of homecoming after a time away. A sense of saying goodbye to nature and saying hello to my normal world again. I never tire of this place and hope that I will be back many times in the future. It isn't MY land as such as I claim no ownership to it whatsoever, but it is a special place to me psychologically and spiritually. With thanks to the National Trust I am able to enjoy this place with freedom and find a sense of ownership and attachment to it though the inspiration I find here.

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