Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

WALKING

with 3 comments

view2

Not long ago I stood gazing up at the cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment rising high and ragged from the water on the far shore of Colpoys Bay. Not long after I found myself on the top of that same ridge marvelling at a reverse angle view of the small, curved sandy beach where I started.

view

To get to this point, we entered Hope Bay Provincial Park, followed the Blue Blazes of the Bruce Trail Conservancy until the Hopeness Side Trail led us to this impressive panorama. It wasn’t a rigorous a walk up. That was yet to come when we left the trail and cautiously made our way down the cliff face in search of caves.

cave1

We slid over leaf-mulched paths, skated down scree, circumnavigated moss covered boulders, traversed narrow slate strewn passages, free climbed short rock faces and fallen cedars while straight below us, through an occasional break in the trees, the crisp blue water of Georgian Bay sparkled in the sun.

In his essay ‘Walking’ David Henry Thoreau wrote, “When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us if we walked only in a garden or a mall?” This ‘walk’ was certainly no stroll through, “garden or mall’. The land set the pace. We had to measure up to it. Recently, though, I have leisurely strolled through fields and woods, taken walks on back roads, shorelines and town lines.

slough

 In fact Thoreau describes me perfectly when he writes, “…with regard to Nature I live a sort of border life, on the confines of a world into which I make occasional and transient forays only…” Living here in Bruce and Grey County country has made these forays all the more possible.

boulder

I have read Bruce Chatwin, Robert Macfarlane, Wade Davis, Edward Thomas and others. I have soaked up Robert Frost’s early poetry. I have lost myself in their stories about tracks and footprints, songlines and journeys into wild places, about their visions of the earth as a network of paths dating far back in prehistory.

stones

And I sometimes find myself regretting that I didn’t follow their lead a lot earlier in life. One must, in the cold face of reality, earn a living and live up to one’s obligations.

gate

At the same time it is important, for the sake of sanity, not to forget that there is another world beyond the borders that now hold most of us back.

car

The therapeutic nature of walking, out beyond the confines of everyday circumstances and into the land, through fields, footpaths and country roads is restorative. A solitary stroll or hiking in the company of like-minded wayfarers lifts your spirit and lets you leave the known world far behind.

roots

 

 

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

July 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hi Ed

    Thank you for writing this blog. I have just returned from a short four days of camping, hiking, and kayaking at Cape Croker on Sydney Bay. Your words and photographs beautifully describe the ‘Bruce’ and its abundant nature. In fact, you have inspired me to publish some of the photographs I captured last week on my blog.

    I am also forwarding your story to my hiking buddies. Hope to see you soon.

    cheers

    Fred

    square-wheel-jockey

    July 5, 2013 at 9:30 PM

  2. Thoreau could not have done a have better job of capturing the soul of ‘The Bruce’…..
    Keep up the writing, Ed.
    D.

    Drew

    July 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: