Walking with your eyes open

Walking around in the Lake District it can be all too easy to be over awed by the amazing views.  I sometimes get the opportunity to lead walks and never cease to be amazed at the two general groups of walking methods employed. There are those who continually stare at the ground. They have been so used to walking on flat, well made pavements, that they are out of practice when it comes to balancing on less than ideal surfaces. They have to divert energy and effort into ensuring a safe foot placement that they can only take in the views around when they stand still. There is the second group who are so amazed at the views they spend the whole day staring into the distance. Miraculously they don’t tend to stumble or fall. They may be aware of the general terrain under their feet, but they don’t tend to pay it any attention.

The danger with both of these methods is that we neglect the middle ground. There is so much to admire in that middle distance and it goes completely unnoticed. For instance, I’ve no idea who HB was. All I can know for sure is that in 1799 he build this gate post and was proud enough of it that he engraved his initials in it. More importantly, it’s still around today, a testament to his enduring workmanship.

Lets spend more time admiring the things that are near us, those people and things that enrich our lives day by day. Not overawed by the immensity of the world around, or the uncertainty that lies beneath our feet. But the small things that enrich the world around us, and in many cases the result of the skill and work from long ago.



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