This is a new strand for this blog. As the world drifts into self-isolation we all need to keep in touch, have a bit of light relief and keep ourselves going. What I’m going to try to do is write something every day, or maybe every few days, using a piece of music (well this started as a music blog), photograph, piece of writing, tv show… or even just a thought to reflect on these unprecedented times.
I’ve called this strand ‘Strolls in Isolation’ because just because we are stuck inside doesn’t me our minds have to be… let’s wander far and wide and see what we encounter on the way.
The picture above was taken last July during our family holiday in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) area of Southern Germany. It represents for me senses of both freedom and isolation. I’m the sort or person who needs a bit of my own time every day, and I used to get up around 6am and walk into the next village to get a coffee from the bakery there, and then go up into the wooded hills where, on the busiest day, I met three people and a dog during my 10-12km outing.
It was a wonderful time as I climbed steadily away from what felt like civilisation out into nature, the early morning sun adding a wonderfully atmospheric sheen to the forest… As I climbed every day I could feel the energy of the hills transfer into my legs as they got stronger and stronger over the week.
There was something about this daily commune with nature that was very nourishing, and something that I didn’t get from similar walks at home…
…and that, I think, is the nature of a good holiday, one that continues to inspire you weeks if not months later, and I often think of those walks as I go about my daily life. I imagine that I am still there, and in some ways long to be there; but it is the very novelty of the experience which makes it special.
Now, as my movement becomes more limited over the next few months, I will be taking those walks again… I will be imagining the smell of the bakery and the taste of the coffee… I will be imagining the ascent up those hills and the amazing feeling of achievement and mental freshness when I reached the top… I will be imagining the aroma of the forest, pine freshness but not from a bottle… and even remember the deer tick that buried itself in my leg one day.
Sure we’re going to be limited in what we can do in the next few months, but let’s let our imaginations take us elsewhere… let’s stay in and see the world.
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