‘Oh there you are’,
As she feels a little spark of happiness opening up her heart.
‘I have been searching for you everywhere-
In books, on the Internet,
In my hair and stories
And I could not find you.
For a while,
I thought you were lost forever-
Even though I knew that you could not be far away,
And saw you residing in the eyes of friends and foreigners.
You choose to peek out at me-
Smiling for a second before disappearing.’
Now I remember
That you have the potential to bloom in my heart-
To wipe out the rain and pain
With a gentle sun,
With the strength of your rays warming my heart and lungs.
And even when you’re hidden and tucked away,
I know that you are there-
Simply sleeping briefly,
But sure to wake up eventually.
For it’s always darkest before the dawn,
As I have always been told.
Walking along these paths makes me feel like a fairy walking through its little glen. What’s that noise? Are there people coming? Oh no, it’s just the kayakers chattering below. I don’t know why but I get jumpy about people following me on solitary walks like this. I guess that’s the curse of being alone. No, what I need to channel is my inner Cheryl Strayed. I can pretend I’m in Wild-although that’s a bit dramatic as I’m actually on the Welsh coast rather than some remote part of the PCT. And I’m only going to be walking for a few more hours and then I’ll be home. And there’s definitely no bears here-the scariest thing is the sheep.
I actually used to be scared of sheep when I was younger, but then I was scared of most things when I was younger. It was that statistic about pigs killing more people than sharks, and I somehow interpreted that fact as being about all farm animals. But no, sheep are fine. In fact, I think they get a bad press. They’re pretty stoic animals really, and I like their gentle silence these days. These ones have just had a shave which adds to their comic effect.
I can’t believe I’ve only walked along this trail a handful of times. There’s something so ancient and historic about paths like these-I feel like they’ve been here forever. I’d like to think that they’ve been totally untouched by technology, but I know in reality that people have uploaded photos to Instagram from here. Which reminds me-I must stop stalking people on Instagram and go on more walks instead. Because this feels much better! This wind is so fresh and it’s wrapping itself around my hair, which either looks brilliant or awful.
Shall I stop and look again? Yes. I know I’ve only just stopped but I need to stop and look again. Breathe. Stop. Look. Breathe. I’ve just touched my tummy because that view has made me feel deeply like I’m home. Why is the voice in my head saying all this in an Essex accent? I’m not from Essex but I have been watching too much Love Island.
Alternative paths. Do I take the safe one or the rugged, narrow one? Rugged narrow sounds exciting but I’m on my own and inner paths are safer. I’ll let my feet decide. Safe path. Not a surprise really, sums up rather a lot of my life. That’s a defeatist thought. Sums up some of my life-and there’s still a lot more to come remember. You’re only 24.
This is lovely. I’m glad I’m doing this. Being alone is always seen as such a sombre thing but I actually find it quite empowering. Why does the world insist on everything being in pairs? Sometimes there’s strength to be found in one person alone. I’m looking forward to eating that KitKat in my bag. I’m glad I’ve grown up here. It’s beautiful.
You tell me beauty is perfection.
It is the airbrushed, bright white,
no-cellulite bodies in the papers and magazines,
American dreams written in lipgloss and eyeliner
the thinner the better
the tighter the nicer
the young over old-
as it’s then that everything starts to unfold.
don’t smile too much or lines will form around your eyes.
Don’t eat that cake for it will go straight to your thighs
or you will slowly rot inside.
But beauty, for me,
is the warmth of your yellow-toothed smile,
as the wrinkles on your face tell a tale untold.
It is the scar on my elbow,
and the sporting injury in your knee
and the pock marks on our thighs.
In the round belly that is nice to hug
and the face that glows without make-up.
I find it in the eyes of those who love well-
and are not afraid to live.
Who age, and smile, and laugh and dance-
sharing their stories along the way.
I see it everyday-
when I stop looking for perfection.