The Green Pause Button

I have been doing a lot of walking recently, not sure if I have mentioned it much....  I have always walked but like a lot of people I have not labelled it as 'walking', its been more a thing that has happened whilst doing something else, often for miles.  A garden show visit will mean a lot of walking but it is not the priority aim of being there.  The last year though has prompted me to explore my locality more in a more determined fashion.  I now purposefully go out for walks that have no aim other than to walk. 

I have found many things on my walks, many paths I had no idea existed and explored new roads gazed at front gardens (one of my favourite hobbies).   I found these wild violets on a recent walk which has become a key route for me as it takes me into the green soonest from where I live.  I can wander along around the back of the houses and parallel to the ring road and motorway junction and yet I am in woods and there are violets.  These violets are a happy find, but I realised the other day there was a very special find.

I was having a bit of day of it.  You know the sort of day, things not going to plan and more stress being caused by other people than I was really in the mood to deal with.  I say 'being caused by other people' but in reality I mean I let them stress me which meant I needed to press pause.  A gap suddenly appeared in my day and I thought 'sod it' or maybe an even ruder word than that and decided to go for a walk.  

I set off with nowhere in particular in mind.  I needed to walk, that was the priority.  The first decision is which way will I turn out of the drive and today I turned left. A quick walk around the block I thought, that will do it, just 15 minutes or so to clear your head.  Yet as I walked a thought started peculating in my head.  A couple of weeks ago I had taken a new route that I had not tried before.  There is a large green space just the other side of the main route into the city from where I live and I have been wandering around it for some time now; but this was a new way in I had not tried before.  I had walked down towards the dual carriageway, through the underpass, along the road and then over the wooden walkway and
pow! I was suddenly in this large green open space.  The first time I entered this field I just stopped.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of green and the sudden feeling that time had stopped.   You can cut across the field to join the main path but I did not want to shorten this journey, I wanted to walk around the field and enjoy every paused moment.  It is not a sight of special scientific interest, it has no rare orchids or helleborus viridis, it is just a large mown grassy field perfect for playing football on, or maybe cricket.

As my walk continued on my stressy day I knew with that immediate clarity that I needed to find my green pause.  I needed to get to this field.  Maybe it is that part of me that is so claustrophic, that cannot abide feeling closed in, that when I get to this space my soul expands to fill it.

I could have walked across the field to get to the main path quickly.  But this was not the aim of the walk.  I was already way past my 'fifteen minutes or so' intention and was now in that head space called 'couldn't give a monkey's' and just wanted to keep walking.  I walked around the field and breathed.  

Then I turned to join the path and walk through the rest of this space which is part playing fields, tree lined walks and part flood-meadow (or bog as it has been known as in the past).  I was soon back on the road and turning towards home.  My fifteen minute walk had become an hour, but now I was released from the knot I had tied myself in, now I felt able to return to what I needed to be doing.  I had to make up the time later but it was worthwhile and now I know next time I feel like that I shall head for my green pause button.  I shall walk, pause and breathe.

Stay safe all and be kind.

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  1. Oh, how I relate to this post! Finding the green pause is essential. Can't live without it.

  2. I'm with you in every sense - and think you found exactly the green you needed at exactly the right moment. Isn't life fascinating!

    1. It really is fascinating and so good that nature restores us just when we need it.


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