I try to pick a new beautiful place along the North Devon coast each time we go out, but Heddon’s Mouth is one of our favourites – so this is the third time we have been there. (It is helped of course by having Hunters Inn with its comfortable surroundings and delicious refreshments as our meeting /finishing place).
The idea for this Saturday was to carry out a Wonder Walk, an idea borrowed from fellow blogger Tara Pappas over at Artful Explorations in Nature. Tara explains that a Wonder Walk is a time that you set aside to go empty-handed and open-minded into nature – no camera or art supplies – just being fully present and using the senses to explore the world all around. Then, on arriving back home, spend some time reflecting upon the experience, and perhaps develop some of the ideas it inspires.
When taking a wonder walk, you should imagine that you are experiencing everything for the first time. Take interest in things that you would normally overlook–perhaps something will surprise you or inspire you!
All through our walk, we were surrounded and bathed in bright winter sunshine. We have had so many dark days and torrential rain and floods lately, that we just revelled in this fabulous weather. We saw snowdrops and gorse and deer gazing down on us from the hillside. The river, swollen with months and months of rain rushed down through the valley with ferocious power, fed by sparkling streams tumbling down the steep woodland bank.
We were walking (wandering) for about 2 – 2.5hrs. I am a little embarrassed to say that I could not resist the temptation to grab hold of my camera (as you will see by the pics above). In fact, only one of us did an actual Wonder Walk thoroughly, just as described by Tara… my friend left all her stuff at home and said she just wanted to be fully there, enjoying the experience. Her main creative activity is writing, and she did not want to get into “doing writing”.
The walk was just perfect, all of us approaching it in the way that suited us best. Tara, at Artful Explorations in Nature, noticed she had increased clarity of mind and greater creative flow after a couple of Wonder Walks. I will try this experiment again alone, as well as variations on it, and see how I manage without resorting to camera or pencil. It is always exciting to explore, to extend oneself and make new discoveries!