Several times a week I get dropped off from my car share about two thirds of a mile from my house. The walk home is a great time to download the day but also begin to retune in to the world around me after a day in the office (with a short break of fresh air at lunchtime if I’m lucky).
Like the majority of people a fair chunk of my day is spent staring of screens of varying sizes or sat in meetings. The modern working world for office workers isn’t that conducive to feeling the warmth of the sun on your face or just sitting on a bench and watching the world go by.
So the walk home is a great time for me to connect to the wildlife that lives in Bath and quite simply – begin to unwind.
In effect every time I walk home I’m following the route of my own little self-guided nature trail. For me connecting with nature in my own local neighbourhood is pretty important. It feels like I’m unpacking another layer of the place that I live, seeing and hearing things differently. That is the joy of walking: that ability to connect and immerse yourself in a place.
Yes there is the background noise of the rush hour but it doesn’t take much to tune into a different soundtrack. It’s so important to take the time to listen and look. If you just speed from A to B in a great rush you’re missing out on so much.
My journey home takes me through a little wooded garden in a local church, through an allotment and a green space called Beacon Hill, a small triangle of common land (I’m always intrigued to think who might have the commoners rights and that one day I’ll find a flock of sheep grazing). Then it’s downhill past a woody hill, down a grassy bank (that has escaped the attention of the mowers) and the breathtaking views over Bathampton Meadows and Solsbury Hill.
It’s a walk that changes dramatically as the seasons pass but feels like a re-assuring constant in my life. I never tire of this walk and yes I’m lucky that Bath is so green but if we take to the time to use our senses even the most urban of places has nature lurking, moving in where we’ve moved out.