When did you last take your car for a service and was the garage near or far? For those of you who had around a mile or so to walk back, but chose to be driven, shame on you!
Of course I’m feeling rather self righteous and I cannot deny that if it was raining/cold/miserable I would probably have been less keen to walk back, but I am so glad I did because I saw and did things I couldn’t or wouldn’t have done had I been enclosed inside metal/aluminium/fibre glass on wheels.
Not only did I enjoy the unhindered chorus of birds who are busy as bees and letting everyone know about it, but I also heard individual birds who had a very specific message to convey to other feathered friends. I may tweet on Twitter but a twitcher I am not and other than one or two bird songs I recognise, most of them I do not, but that makes it no less pleasant to hear.
Then there was the route itself; every inch of the way was plastered in wild flowers and grasses. It’s a very rural setting here, so the banks and verges are pretty much left alone most of the year, but that makes for the most vibrantly coloured and varied plantlife you can imagine. From wild iris to the simple but no less beautiful dandelion, for a roadside verge, the colours are gorgeous.
Then there were the animal burrows, some small holes from rabbits or stoats, but also some huge great caverns dug out by badgers. The latter does tend to make a bit of a mess on the road where they indiscriminately turf the soil and debris out without so much as nod, but they were here first I guess. Anyway, the tractors coming off the fields make a far greater mess and they never clean up after themselves!
I also noticed regular small patches of rooted out mud on the road side and soon realised it was from the birds who had been poking around in last year’s autumn waste for a tasty morsel.
My good deed for the day was to remove a small log from the road lest any motorcycle or bike should hit it. Hopefully it didn’t land on any unsuspecting creature who was foraging in the undergrowth!
The other benefit of walking is being able to say ‘good morning’ to other pedestrians, a custom that is sadly in decline in our cosseted and isolated existence.
My final pleasure as I entered the village was to reward myself, again something I would not have done had I been in a car. I stopped by the village shop and bought myself a generous portion of what I hope is delicious carrot cake!
So for anyone thinking of using the car rather than walking, whatever the reason, my advice is don’t because there is far too much to miss. Our lives are but the briefest of snapshots and there are no ‘retakes’ so grab every opportunity of really seeing what is out there and possibly just on your doorstep.
You don’t have to go very far or do very much to derive the greatest of pleasure from the simplest of jobs!