Wednesday, December 02, 2009

And Onwards Into The Woods

Once upon the path between Axmouth and Lyme Regis there are only two choices, unless I've missed the others, and that is forwards or backwards. Unlike most walks there are no other alternative paths or routes out and in many places it is impossible to even step off the path. It is difficult to even find a spot to sit and rest for a bit unless you sit on the path.

The walking here is dense and difficult with plenty of opportunity to slip or twist an ankle and in some parts it would be very dangerous indeed to come off the path as you can disappear completely down a dark fissure in the rocks which have unknown depth.

In many places you can only see a short distance in front before the path turns again to twist downwards or round or over rocks and under overhanging trees. One of effects of this is to lead the walker onwards and deeper into the woods, as you always want to see whats round that next corner so you forget the time and the amount of time that it will take to get yourself back out again. All too soon the sun is lowering and the shadows are lengthening and the noon has quickly become late afternoon. This is not a place that you want to find yourself trying to get out of at night.

On a sunny day the flickering of the sunlight through the trees has a hypnotic effect which adds to the sense of disorientation similar to the one you get when driving through a road lined with trees with a low sun, a trancelike state is induced like the one that you get walking the green lanes.

The path is very narrow in places and weaves its way tacked lightly onto the side of the hill. The sense of green becomes overpowering and the mind attempts and fails to make sense of what it is looking at. Is that shape an overgrown tree or an overgrown rock? It is not always possible to tell and it is soon gone only to be quickly replaced by another visual conundrum. Occasional vistas open up and the sea can be glimpsed briefly here and there. Along the cliffs falcons can be seen, one of which is the dark speck in the photo of the blue sky above the Bindon landslip cliffs.

A difficult but excellent walk which should not be hurried, take your time and be careful of where you place your feet, it is a beautiful and rewarding place unlike anywhere else that I know of.


Penny said...

good morning,
I haven't had a chance to look and read the new stuff yet, but I wanted to bring this forward

John "One of the reasons that I walk and explore is that I find it gets me well away from the madness of what goes on in the world.?


It is your bit of sanity.

That is what I always say about my walking or bike riding, whichever.
I call it wandering, but I have always said, it is what keeps me sane in this crazy world.

My respite in all the madness.

IMHO I think people do not get out enough to have quiet, thoughtful time, especially in nature and that is why the world is insane and out of touch with anything resembling reality.

john said...

Cheers Penny

Yes that does sound right to me. I am not an expert but artists and poets have always found inspiration and solace in the study and experience of nature, personally I find it has a healing quality. I also think that when people are so removed from nature they are disconnected from the natural cycles which I think are important to health. It certainly could be madness.

I have lived in cities and I remember one time when walking through the centre with someone I knew pretty well and I pointed out to them the beautiful berries on the rowan tree only to get the reply 'I'm not interested in plants' a response I found quite astonishing - to be actively blind to this small beauty of nature. I certainly never thought the same way about them.

If I am gone from here for a few days it is because my internet browser has become a pop-up nightmare and I will be absent until I can get it fixed, although saying that it does seem strangely ok at the moment. fingers crossed.

nobody said...

Well people change you know... That comment re not being interested in plants could have been me at some point. Um... right up until that point where we moved into a house that had a garden full of ash, elm, birch etc. Then I became hellbent to learn their names and took on the responsibility for pruning them all.

Otherwise marvellous wander John. Perhaps the best one yet. And that's the landslip! You can see it! Very good.

john said...

Cheers and thanks nobody

Yes the capacity for change is very good as maybe change is all there is and with it hopefully growth of some sort. I think it has to do with being open and to question ourselves and how we respond to things and also to admit we were wrong about things. It is like the work on the ego, it never seems to stop and is hard work sometimes. Old beliefs can be hard to change as they go very deep.

john said...

ha ha, I'm not sure that made any sense at all!

nobody said...

Gibberish! But don't worry, I got it!

And adding to that, I reckon it's something a person can get better at. Hmm... letting go of things as an acquired skill...

queenofthenile said...

So lovely, john, your photos and the way you tell them. I can imagine that narrow path. Here, when I walk, I can generally find another little path to follow for a bit of privacy, but that must have been very difficult on the walk you've just done.

That's a magic first line by the way: "Once upon the path. . ."

And your description of the mesmerising green light, well, that must be why you go back again: for immersion in the life force. We can't live very happily without green, I think.

Thanks for bringing me back to the woods.

Penny said...

John, John...
I found a place where ferns grow on the forest ground, in an old growth Carolinian forest.
There are tulip trees in fact their is an entire path dedicated to them.

I was too lazy to bring the camera, but... If will have to be spring...
I will take pictures
And post them.

Oh sorry, drove out to a conservation area....
Hadn't been there since I was a kid.
If I can find a decent link I will post it

john said...

hello there everybody

apologies for the delay, I have been sorting out a few computer problems. You all have computers so I expect you all know how it is.

Hi nobody, yes gibberish indeed! but I thought I'd leve it up as a demonstration of muddle and for general entertainment purposes. Giving up things as an acquired skill I like the sound of, maybe taking new things up as well.

The beech trees have been doing their autumn business here lately and I will get some photos of them up soon.

Cheers Queen

The Lyme Regis walk is quite a quiet walk people wise. In about three hours I met only two couples of people. On such a path it is good to stop and have a bit of a chat. I'm always interested to find out a bit about the people I meet on a walk and also they can tell you what's happening in the direction you are walking in, if nothing else a greeting and a smile helps it all along.

It is a magic walk and I always come back with photos that don't really cover the scale of the place, although the details are fine. I think I'll keep at it..and see if I can borrow a wide angle lens! Cheers and thanks.

Cheers Penny. The forest sounds wonderful! Yes make sure you get out there in the spring so we can see photos of the tulip trees, they should be a sight. And it was a trip back into a place in the past, good for some 'how the place has changed or how we have changed?'

Hopefully some of that made sense. Cheers for now m'dears.