God has wonderful promises for us as we travel on through life and into later years.The best news is that,inside we need never grow old because He has actually promised to renew our youth day by day.

Isaiah 40:31

Friday, 15 May 2015

Walking The Streets

This post follows on from my last post about my love of walking and tramping the fields.

Unfortunately, here in UK the Oil Seed Rape is in full bloom at the moment  and next to some of the footpaths I gaily tramp along.  It may look gloriously sunny and bright; but it absolutely stinks!. As an asthmatic it also  makes me wheeze rather badly, makes my lips go numb and  leaves a nasty taste in the mouth from the fumes..it really is truly awful. I, like many, many others suffer from the dreaded "Oil Seed Rape Allergy Syndrome"

So, for my daily walk I take to the streets instead.  Today  my walk was 3.86 miles long according to my little gadget that measures my  distance for me. Am not in the least bit interested how many steps I have attained throughout the day but do like to keep a log of my mileage! My son bought me this gizmo twenty three years ago, still going strong, just an annual battery change is need.

For many people, the thought never seems to occur that the urban environment is a great place for walking. When "walking" pops up in the media or in conversation it always seems to refer to walking in the countryside away from the traffic fumes and into a place of  peace and quiet, gentle birdsong and clear running streams...uhmmm...not at this time of year it isn't. DO they realise how incredibly noisy the countryside is?   Of course, it is nice to get away out into the countryside, with it's muddy paths, locked gates, dog fouling and piles of litter in the river. Recently a nesting pair of Swans I had been watching closely on my regular walk were callously shot by youths, just for the fun of it.

My early walking the streets this morning has taken me round in a huge loop, apart from crossing over a Zebra Crossing at the start and end of my walk I kept to the right hand footpath at all times...no dodging the traffic on busy roads to get to the other side.

The joy of walking the streets is that there are some many more things to see than tramping the fields. The front gardens are  mostly an inspiration, some are an  abomination with their concreted over front garden to accommodate the several cars. There is nowhere for the rains to run off and flooding is common place and they look so very ugly.

This morning  I buried my nose in the blossom of five Lilac trees that I passed...at least that doesn't make me wheeze.  The White Lilac doesn't have much of a scent I discovered.

HD Lilac Blossom Wallpaper

Walking the streets gives me more ideas for prayers too, as  I often pass the houses of people I know, or various schools, colleges, doctors surgeries, churches.  Not many of those around when I'm tramping the fields.

Today three people  waved to me as they went past in their cars, and there are many other pedestrians to say "Good Morning" to, or just share a smile. Then there are the two elderly couples who sit in their front windows and I regularly wave to as I pass...we have never met each other but share a connection this way.

Didn't see any dogs today, though did get to say 'Hello' to three cats.

I rounded a corner and came upon a Postman who had sadly collapsed, thankfully, though I stopped to see if there was anything I could do, the First Responder arrived soon afterwards and so I went on my way, with a prayer of thanks for the free emergency services and a speedy recovery for the Post man.

Pounding the streets of Copenhagen was popular with Soren Kierkegaard, the existentialist christian thinker. He always said that he could only think when surrounded by the noise and distractions of the city.  
Charles Dickens was  another devotee of walking the streets, especially at night. Sometimes tramping through till dawn. He craved violent exercise (power walking we call it now!) "To still his beating heart" The writing of 'Bleak House' made him so anxious that he had to take regular twenty mile walks through the city in order " to quieten or exhaust" his restless spirit.   Not that I am planning to walk twenty miles  at a time, four is about my limit and then that depends on the state of my knees!

There is one major advantage of walking the streets rather than tramping the fields.....the fact that  you are never far from a bus stop!!

So long as I remember to put my Senior Citizens bus pass in my pocket  if  the knees give out or the weather turns extremely inclement there is always a bus to hop on to either take me home...there are two bus stops at the bottom of our street; or to get me into the central bus station where I can catch a bus home. There are not many bus stops in fields

Wonder where I will go to next, perhaps instead of keeping to the right, will turn left instead...who knows?

Thursday, 7 May 2015

"What a boring life"

Once again three separate conversations  on the same theme has kindly provided me with a topic for a blog post. This time, the topic in question is ...how boring my life is!

First conversation  ... had stopped to say hello to a neighbour early one morning as I was setting out for my daily walk. In reply to her question as to where and what I was doing and I answered...'walking' her shocked reply was "How boring" and  went in to watch early morning television. To which I could also have replied; "How boring".

Second conversation....quite by accident I was joined on another walk by someone from church and her daughter, we happened to be going the same way so we walked together. It would have been rather impolite to refuse.  So this walk was not the solitary meditation a walk usually is but one full of unpleasant gossip and opinions on who to vote for in the upcoming Election (which is taking place today as I write)

Our Member of Parliament retired this year after decades in the position and the town is tipped to vote in a UKIP Member. My walking companions were it turned out, avid supporters of UKIP and declared vociferously that we should all be patriotic and stand up for being 'English'.     Am never sure what "English" actually means, we are all mixed blood if you think about it. I'm a mix of French and Irish..so does that make me non-English? Who knows.

Sorry, have digressed a bit, as often happens....the 'boring life' bit of the conversation came about when I was being persuaded to join a 'walking group' , there are several across town, but I declined, saying that I like to walk alone, to take in my surroundings, nature . I like solitude. (see  a previous post). Well, what a "boring life you must lead" was the reply to that.

Third conversation is perhaps the saddest of the three. Someone from church, once again, was attempting to persuade me to join this group, go to that social event, and was so persistent that my refusal was perhaps a bit more sharper than was expected. I am happy with my solitude. See no need to be caught up in a shallow social 'whirl' of church or secular activities.
The sad part came when I was asked to explain exactly why I preferred solitude. My answer simply was, that I prayed. Whatever task I undertake includes prayer, meditation, rumination of one sort or another. The reply to this was "Why?"..."Why do you need to pray so much?"

Perhaps it is me, and it often is, but prayer is not just for Sundays, or bed time, but for all times.

So, it is official, my life is extremely boring. Am at an age where I am comfortable being boring and have always been a non conformist, so have no desire to go along with the crowd.

I leave you with these quotes:-

"He lacks much who has no aptitude for idleness"
                                                         ----Louise Beebe Wilder

"Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you"
                                                   ----Annie Dillard

"Speak to your heart in silence upon your bed"

                                               ----Psalm 4 :4