Our ‘home’ walk, our meditation. Though over two months since we last walked it. But taking advantage of the lighter afternoons and the fact that Sarah has time to spare from her funeral work, we arrive at Thurstaston in the middle of a mid-March Thursday.
The heavy mist blankets everything. Wetting hair and branches and leaves. Deadening distant sounds, so nearby birdsongs, footsteps and water tricklings appear louder.
The day is cold, walking through the mist. And looks like we’re back in mid-winter.
Little is said other than the names of plants. The naming itself a sacred liturgy.
From this high up we usually get our first panorama of the Dee Estuary, our Shining Shore.
Still no wind and little sound beyond our footsteps and the naming of the names.
The shoots on the left there will all be bluebells before too long.
The last couple of days a hazy sun has broken through by now. It’s not happening today. We pass very few people on the silent hillside.
Some days the stream here gushes past us. Today it trickles quietly.
We eat, drink our tea and walk on.
For years we’ve been measuring how far I have to duck down to pass beneath this. Now, sadly, it’s been ‘tidied up.’ I never minded the ducking down and now miss the gentle interruption..
Closer to us the boulder clay cliffs from the end of the last Ice Age have had a hard winter with high tides and accelerated erosion.
And in the mist it feels like we’re walking through a sepia landscape, most colour drained away.
Even today, silent, empty and enclosed.
Thank you. The place, the day, nature and time. We return from our ritual walking meditation as ever, rested and renewed.
Just after writing this I hear that Tony Benn has died. Expected but no less sad. Right up to the end I always loved to hear what he thought about things. My inspiration since I was a little boy, I’m grateful this walk left me in such a peaceful and reflective place for when the news of his death finally came.