My 50th birthday was turning out to be a depressing day. I had not found anyone to spend it with and I was seeing that as a reflection of my current position in life. “50, alone, friendless…” not a good beginning. I had decided to go off to the Lake District to walk to Watlendeth and have a coffee at the farm house coffee shop; the walk is always nice if you get off at Rothswaite walk over the tops into the valley of Watlendeth. A bus to Keswick then another to Rothswaite by using the North West Explorer Ticket is still good value.
My walk was still in a negative mood, the weather was not brilliant and the people I met were all coupled. Having my coffee was not much better; everyone seemed to be with someone and all talking about children, relations, and friends. I decided it is better to be alone than to spend it with others as one can feel lonely in a crowd.
I changed my route and retraced my steps not choosing the easier flatter option to Ashness Bridge and Surprise View. When I got to the top of the pass I decided to change my route again and go off the path into the hills. It was a little like a fairy story of going into the “magical forest” my mood began to change, I began to be happier, I began to take pleasure in getting my boots dirty, in noticing the beauty around me, I was alone but not lonely.
I took videos and photos I sank into the bog; I slipped over long grass and scrambled over rocks. The view was different; no longer the same route I often take, my perspective was changing.
Later, I regained the path and descended to Rosthwaite, but then I took another path one I had not been on before. A less used path through trees and high ferns.
I video emptiness, the magical forest was indeed magical a stillness and beauty with the richness of the colour. I was heading back to Keswick but it felt like in a different country.
I got to the road but then I decided to go another route again this time I did not know where I was going. I climbed, and when I fork came, on the disused track, I took the higher path.
It ascended sharply, was it an old shepherds track or a sheep path, it was certainly unused. I walked through high ferns, often the path disappeared underneath the grasses. It went higher, steeper; the flowers became wilder, colorful.
I thought to turn back as I had to get back for the bus, but again I found myself continuing higher, further way from the road. Sweat was pouring down my face, no water and feeling a little tired, the heat was intense. I was enjoying myself immensely.
|the path went up the mountain|
I got to a stone wall and saw the path going higher but this was my limit, I knew it. So I turned back and descended the same way. It took me a fraction of the time, soon I found myself by the road and then I detoured off the road to the river. Standing in the cold water splashing myself with water I felt very good, not lonely, not depressed, and only content. I did not need people, I needed to find myself and I had found it that day from going to new places, new routes, and new journeys, it had engaged and interested me.