Bank Holiday Monday.
So there we are. Alex is out in front. Hoodie up and baseball cap planted firmly on his head, hands thrust deep into his pockets, walking just far enough ahead to be not with us, and just close enough to make sure that he does not miss out on anything. Lucy is behind, smiling as the wind whips her hair across her face, enjoying the view, the air, the feeling of freedom that being out here, in the Goyt gives you. Trisha is behind. No hint of teenage angst, just trailing along behind mum. I am last. Limping a little from a knee injury. This is my walk. I do not share it with others easily. It is special and needs to be enjoyed in a certain way. It is a walk for contemplating the future, for imagining how the present could have been different maybe. A fine landscape, that lets in some light onto those seemingly intractable problems. It is a magic place. But no matter how brilliant your thoughts or the solutions that you conjure to solve your problems, the moment you leave here, they seem less brilliant, soon to be forgotten.
There are no curlews visible or audible today. Throughout the summer, I have watched and listened to them as they raise the young and defend their territory. Maybe they have sought shelter from the wind and occasional rain shower. Maybe they are already at the coasts? Too early I guess. In fact the only sign of life is a dead frog! Last time I was up here, just before we went on holiday there was a dead mole. I wrote a poem about it, but now, today nothing comes, no lines to inspire something more.
When we left the car park the grey clouds had parted, peeling back to reveal a little patch of light blue sky. My grand mother used to say that if you could make a pair of sailors trousers from the available blue sky then the day would be fine. There was not enough evidently, as ten minutes into the walk, down came the rain from a leaden sky.
As we near the end of the walk there is a family trying to fly a kite. We exchange a joke about the wind and walk on. Alex and Trish go and stand by the ponds edge where a few weeks ago there were ducklings. The pond is quiet today. Maybe they have gone, flown the pond? Or perhaps they are sheltering in the reeds at the waters edge. The mother duck had done well, raising two broods through the summer. I hope the second one made it safely!
I always feel better after a walk. The air, which up here appears to be clearer, cleaner and fresher, wakes you up, blows away the cobwebs as Lucy says. It does not last though. Soon back to the real world and all the stresses with it return. But at least it is there, a ten-minute drive away. Not just for bank holidays though.