A combination of fluffy white clouds and blue skies, birdsong, and elegant, majestic swans. There is a distinct calling where Mother Nature cannot be ignored. Instinctive, subliminal, call it what you will, but it mirrors inspiration and desire to write descriptions. A virtual pen in hand whilst walking through the most pristine landscapes.
And so, it was time for my ‘major league’ walk – around two and a half hours, through, or rather alongside water meadows, a river and not passing, but climbing St. Catherine’s Hill once again! St. Catherine’s Hill is a challenging climb but worth it just for the view. Everywhere you look, whatever the direction, there are hills; rolling hills that Winchester is surrounded by.
On the top of the hill, the leaves have started to change color; ever so gradually. Sunshine pours through like a ray of eternal positivity. Naturally, it is the same summit I often climb, yet offers a different perspective each time I venture up the many wooden steps. I look at distant hills and downs, myriad colors and clouds supporting the scenes, creating a synergetic connection that can only be found in an individual’s mind and heart.
Every time I venture out on this walk there is something new; previously unnoticed. Spring and Fall are the most dramatic seasons.
Springtime offers Myriad green leaves and buds, blossom emerging after wintertime when hidden, awaiting the call to grace onlookers with breaths of fresh air, smiling faces in awe of such natural beauty.
Fall presents an opposite vista. Gradually, colorful leaves that formed a curtain hiding the scenery beyond is opened. Once hidden, hills and distant views are released once more as each autumnal leaf floats to the ground, carpeting woodlands in a blaze of color and scent that is unique; visuality and scent combine to award those who have time to watch and assimilate such beauty.
Walking through the woodland at this time of year is a pure privilege. The feeling of seasonal change is all-embracing. The heart awakens imagination and fantasy, as angels descend, spreading their wings upon Utopia. Their strong, gentle prerafaelite faces adorn the vista enhancing an already bountiful imagination.
Pure fantasy or just a runaway mind becoming engrossed in and absorbed by an all-enveloping creation. As though sky, trees, river, and grassland embrace the onlooker who becomes truly engrossed in Nature’s glory. The Universe is yours for the taking; whisking you away to another platform.
COME JOIN ME ON A WALK
A stroll along a riverside. Release your heart and senses to assimilate a ‘tingling’ in the air. Nature is well aware of the Season about to descend upon us, providing every incentive to become part of; at one with Nature.
Fantasy descends upon us. We look high to the treetops. They wave in celebration. Waving at those on the ground, and those feathered friends above the canopy of leaves.
We stroll close to the River Itchen along a pathway that seems limitless; indeed miles and miles long, but each stride presents something previously unseen. A splash of a trout, a robin keeping a watchful eye, and sparrows discussing anything and everything with their constant chirping.
Having walked a mile or more, the scenery opens up to the most glorious views anyone could imagine.
Looking forward; directly in front is a pathway leading to anywhere; infinite in the heart. Sloping, winding, a slight incline. The hedgerows are tall, but gaps where vast areas of downland, hills, and woodland present an extraordinary variety of colors that bless the eyes, heart, and senses.
There is a distinct, but almost quiet brush-like sound in the air. This only becomes a reality when pausing; looking to the right through a framework of colored leaves; forming an imaginary painting that could be hanging in an art gallery. But the view is not imaginary, but real.
Walking a little further, still looking to the right, a hill presents itself; a copse of trees, thick, almost a miniature forest sporting a canopy of leaves, tree bark visible from the ground upwards. Crows seem to show off their ability to fly around then plummet into the treetops.
A skylark’s distinct message is broadcast to all who tune in to its voice and to quote a few words from Wordsworth’s poem ‘To a Skylark’: ……..a privacy of glorious light is thine whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood of harmony, with instinct more divine…….’.
Thus to taking in sights of beauty and musical harmony, freeing the mind to wander within in a combination of fantasy and reality.
And then a glance to the left side of the path; you are presented with the most amazing avenue of trees; not looking through the ‘tunnel’ but the side view of these magnificent creations of Nature.
Fields of green and golden hay arrive at the trees as if a red carpet unrolled in their honor.
I trust you can visualize; sense, absorb the grandeur of life-enhancing scenery. Encompassing heart, Universe, and generating good vibes.
Further down the pathway bends around the right. It is not possible to see what will emerge, but gradually a scene opens up and you will witness a symphony of harmony. The pathway leads to the copse of trees, a winding way to a heavenly view of life, of calm, of tranquility.
You are surrounded; embraced by such awesome, spiritually enhancing life that we often overlook or ignore.
The pathway seems to go on forever; never-ending, infinity of Nature.
Looking closely, almost microscopically at the base of trees, another world awaits. Imagine you are there within the moss; it looks like a forest; perhaps in preparation for the forest yet to visit.
I am aware I have described the previously but every walk reveals a similar perspective. After strolling around, the ‘trees of moss’ look up and along the pathway, which is now fairly steep, leading you gradually to this wonderous hillside with a dense copse of trees.
From under the canopy of majestic, tall giants, views are transformed to a scene of true beauty. Look down from the hilltop. Imagine; for quite some time walking and looking upwards and left and right, standing relatively high up, eyes and heart greeted by the most spectacular awesome scenery.
Have you joined me on this spectacular journey? Are you willing and ready to return to the River Itchen and walk into Winchester town center?
Will your memory preserve such a visit to another land, and another dimension of Nature’s wonders; your heart, your soul, your inner-self , and perception retain natural elements, celebrating, looking up at the sky feeling the need to offer thanks to the Creator of the Universe?
And so we land in reality. But what is reality if not offering an element of fantasy?
Thank you for joining me on this walk.