The Old Railway

My mind keeps running through an endless list of worries like the end credits at the cinema. Some new, some repeat offenders keep making an appearance. It gets too much so I decide to go for a walk.

I am lucky enough to live near an old patch of land, which used to have a railway track on it and is now used as a public footpath.

It is surrounded by withered trees, trickles of streams, fields and the thing I was most looked forward to: peace.

Recently I seem unable to look away from a screen. Be it the computer at work, my phone, my laptop or the TV. I sometimes worry I worry I won’t be able to appreciate anything properly unless it’s viewed via a screen.
I am relieved to see the stretch of blue in front of me, my eyes squinting at natural sunlight rather than glazing over the blue glow of a screen. I keep my phone in my pocket, refusing to take it out just yet. I close my eyes, take my headphones out and just listen The birds gently sing to one another, the slop of wet earth underneath my boots and somewhere in the distant a mother calls to her child.

I continue to walk and I try my best not to think, which is a harder task than it sounds. I look at the branches cutting patterns in to the blue sky, the sunlight stroking along the golden grain. I reach the point where I would normally turn back but I just keep walking. To my delight, I reach a bridge high in the forest. I’d forgotten this was here.

I’m not sure where this love of forests came from, possibly from fairy tales read to me when I was younger where forests were full of enchantments and excitement. But I am always incredibly content to find myself in one. There is something about being in a crowded forest where your company is the trees towering above you heard, the confetti of leaves or pine needles scattered on the ground, that I fall in love with every time.

For a moment or two, I allow myself to be still.

There is surprising autumnal palette despite the slight chill of the December air but the branches are bare. There is a river near by, which mirrors the trees around it. The only other people are two joggers, who are quickly out of sight.I have always liked the idea of spotting the beauty in the things around you, even if it’s just the way sunlight hits something, or the bright red shade of a leaf.

I’m not particularly bothered about being noticed myself. I just want to notice the world as much as I can.


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