Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cloud Cover

“And the sky is full of dreams
But you don’t know how to fly
I don’t have a simple answer
But I know that I could answer something better.

This feeling won’t go
Wait for it, wait for it
Wait for it, wait for it
Something better.”

from “This is Your Life” by The Killers

Whenever I need to gain or regain perspective on my life I go to certain places where there are great views and big open skies. For many years it was Newlands Corner in Surrey or the Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales.

Now with the opening of the Community Route I wrote about previously, I have found another place.

I start at a little place called Cross Inn and walk a number of sections, sometimes as far as Church Village (where I was born … remember?).

Incidentally, I found out a few days ago that my Mum lived in Cross Inn when she was little. She may even have been born there. From the description of the house and its location it seems that she grew up in the house that my sister-in-law now lives in. Curious, eh?

Going for long walks is therapeutic for me. It’s my medication. It keeps the black dog at bay.

I take my sketchbook and my camera.

Often I don’t use them. I just walk.

I exercise … not just my body, but my mind and my soul.

I think deeply about things. I work – and walk - things out. I plan and I pray.

Having a view, with ever changing light and shade, reminds me of ‘the bigger picture’. Looking more closely I see fields, hedges, fences and pathways. It makes the journey seem possible. Manageable.

Looking at the sky helps me to dream (blue-sky thinking, and all that).

Over the years I’ve taken countless shots of all sorts of skies. Often, they are not dramatic or photogenic. Just clouds being constantly reshaped by a wind you cannot see.

And the good thing is that it’s not always lonely. In this part of the world you say “hello” to (mostly) everyone you meet and sometimes stop to exchange a few words.

The other day I stopped to talk to an elderly man who was leaning on a gate. He was a local fella who had lived in one of the nearby villages all his life. He lived in a close community of houses, shops and pubs. A place with not much employment and not much hope. After we’d chatted for a while he looked out at the view and said,

“This is the big country … and we didn’t even know it was here.”

I’m very pleased with these photos of the sky I took on Sunday. They reflect my current frame of mind.

Waiting for something better.

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