I took these photos while out walking yesterday and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself because the walk was 2.2 miles in total (see the little map) and there were a couple of steep hills to negotiate. I know it doesn’t sound like much and to be honest it isn’t, but it’s quite an achievement after 5 rounds of chemotherapy designed to kill almost anything that moves.
A few months ago I’d have shrugged off such a short walk. Yesterday I was physically quite tired by the end of it. I was also much, much slower than I’ve ever been and suspect I crawled faster when I was a baby. Still, as my Dad said when I spoke to him later in the day, slowly but surely the tortoise wins the race. Slowly but surely that’s what I’m doing. I hope it doesn’t mean I’ll grow a shell because plenty of other strange things happened to me last year so a shell is not as far-fetched as it sounds!
I never appreciated how much I enjoy walking. Putting one foot in front of the other through the country lanes to the church of St Michael and All Angels turned out to be a simple pleasure. Just me and my son with our wellies and our cameras, no worries and no rain clouds on the horizon (real or metaphorical) to spoil the view. The church is old, tiny and rarely used but the vista from the churchyard extends to seven counties – as far as the eye can see to the north, west and south. I imagine Albert Bierstadt or Claude Lorrain could paint this landscape and the painting would be an all time great because the view is simply breath-taking.
Another thing I appreciate now more than ever is time. Strange as it might seem I take pleasure in not doing things and instead just enjoy being in the moment. If I had to describe my life to date in one word ‘hectic’ might be a good choice. It’s been my choice and cramming things in over a number of action packed years has enabled many experiences for which I will always be grateful.
However, while the hare races around and manages to quickly do a number things, she doesn’t have too much time to enjoy them all. The tortoise walks much more slowly and it’s true she might not do as much but she gets to savour every single moment. I’d like my walking to speed up a bit and I’m sure it will with some practice. I’ve decided my doing speed is going to slip back a notch or two and that will also call for some practice. Somewhere between hare (c. 35 mph) and tortoise (0.2 mph) feels like a reasonable target. At c. 18mph that makes me a future Six-lined Racerunner lizard!