A March Walk

“Sun’s going to shine in my back door some day
March wind’s going to blow my blues all away”
The Carter Family
“I’m not in Yorkshire anymore!” was the thought in my hear as I parked up on a main road and led Hiro accross to the tow path on the canal.  Visiting Family on this first day in March in Wigan, I found myself heading towards Wigan flashes, a local nature reserve spread around the town.  20 Hectares of reedbed, water and woodland.

The Leeds – Liverpool canal, built in 1814 was brown and grim looking.  Hiro was immediately fascinated and as usual, anywhere near a body of water, ready to jump in.  The locks were closed and we walked over the bridge into the flashes,  This woodland has since been turned into a bike trail for the rising interest in mountain biking.Although the same time as last months walk, the day was certainly lighter and brighter and the wind, which had been blowing all weekend was less today under storm Jorge.  As we walked, I was interested to see the trees here.  Their twisted knarled limbs covered in bright green moss.  Their seemed to be lots of fallen trees, noticeably birch trees, that have been broke, torn and cracked by recent storms, Ciara and Dennis.

 

Here in Wigan, the landscapes soundtrack is very different.  I could hear the blackbirds call, however, due to the bodies of water, there were also canada geese and duck calls.  Even pigeons and seagulls roamed this unusual area.  Underfoot was difficult to traverse and i was acutely aware of my ankle, sharp pain shooting through as I stumbled over moss covered rock and log.
As we walked through the woods we came across a myriad of paths, I always try to stray from the path when I’m in the woods.  I prefer the path less travelled, in my life I have often strayed from the path, it hasnt always led me to the beautiful places I wander in today.  However the paths today were many and treacherous.  We would walk for a while, Hiro racing around, particularly heading towards the the little pools and bogs in sunken holes left by the storms.  Then the sound of a car on the main road and the sight of houses caused me to turn around as I neared civilisation.  I like to lose myself when I go for a walk, I like to escape my everyday in order to find the elsewhere.  I was aware it’s difficult to do that in the midst of a town.
Back across the canal, Hiro now on his lead as he fevereshly pulled trying to jump in the canal to chase the canada Geese.  The inconfuence of the flashes, the canal and the wonders it offers in stark contrast to the busy sounded road, the construction and the graffitti on the bridges made me grateful for my home in Yorkshire.
It’s not a criticism of industrious towns and it’s failure to provide green space, The flashes are a beautiful reserve and the opportunity for children to explore their natural enviroment is essential, I realise that I am spoiled where I live, and it is so far away from the world where I was born.  Today was an opportunity to lose myself for a while and then once I was finding roads and houses, to try and lose myself again.
Following the storms of recent times, it has much changed landscapes across the country, and as I write this i’m aware of what people have lost due to these storms.  We all face storms in life, physical and metaphoriacal, we all get lost and find ourselves bogged down with life.  It’s having the opportunity to find new paths, different routes and weather the storms that helps us to appreciate the journies in life.  Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it can take a little longer to find your path back.
The year is beginning to grow into itself, the lighter mornings and the sun brightening up the start of the day, burst of daffodils and early bluebells in an ongoing search for moments  As we walked back to the car with a whole month ahead I’m sure i’ll see more in walks and rambles.