Yesterday, I left the path at the woods. In an attempt to find the deepest, darkest patches hidden from usual ramblers, my brother and I left no part un-walked, telling suitable macabre tales along the way.
I was engrossed in regaling him with a rather gruesome tale of death in the Victorian era when my foot found a particularly sticky patch of mud and stuck. While trying to dislodge my firmly lodged left foot, my right foot struck uneven ground and before I knew it I was rather inelegantly lying in the mud. It was delightful.
Once filthy, I felt freed of the usual concerns that plague my London life. I washed myself off in a stream that I would usually deem too cold and, well, wet to touch. I splashed and dug my feet into the deliciously squelchy mud. I exhausted myself in keeping up with his seemingly-gargantuum strides.
Along the way, though damp, dirty and out of puff, I noticed that the woods hid a secret the walls of my house kept from me: spring was steadily springing. Little buds were pushing their way out of grey stumps and birds were singing mysterious melodies to one another that, though unfathomable, sounded indescribably joyous.
It could not have been an afternoon better spent. Now, I know most of you are ludicrously busy, but my love for walking knowing no bounds, I’ve written this in the hope this post might incite a little walking action amongst you. It doesn’t need to take as much time – and sully as many items of clothing – as my walk did (though you’ll get more from it that way). Just go outside somewhere vaguely green. Stretch your legs. Take deep breaths. Unfurl.
And for those of you who want to stay indoors where it is warm and your face will remain un-whipped by wind, take comfort in my discovery: spring is just around the corner.