It’s late morning. Just time today for a short lockdown 3 essential daily exercise walk. Turns out to be 5,548 steps, 3.58km according to my walking app. Overcast and with a slight mist lingering from dawn. A little chilly, 6 degrees, lower in intermittent 10mph (16 kph) gusts. Nonetheless pleasant.
My route is a familiar one to me, too familiar now. While not my only option on short walk days, it is my default choice. Why? From my house, it’s the most varied. It comprises a quiet, eerie at times, tree-arched cut-through path between a cemetery and retirement home, quiet roads, louder busier main roads, a fine park offering sports, recreational and maintained quiet garden spaces, a footbridge over one of the main roads, subway tunnels across a large, raised roundabout over another main road, and finally a shrub-lined path leading me onto my home estate.
Varied maybe but, it must be said, from an outdoor landscape photographer’s point-of-view, not that picturesque. Doesn’t matter, it is what it is and I must make the most of it. Head out and dare to adapt. Seek beauty in the hitherto thought plain, delight in the once deemed mundane. And where beauty and delight prove (with the best of wills) elusive, still relish what I see. Furthermore, share some images from today, so that others might consider themselves fortunate, or less so, depending on the nature of their local walks.
Following are some photographs from said walk. No award-winners here; nothing that promotes my local area as a rambling mecca. Just pictures from one short route on one grey day in an amiable enough but visually unremarkable part of North Kent.
You may consider one (or more) photograph agreeable, or not, it’s fine either way. That’s not the point of sharing these images. Instead, it’s about someone, me in this case, finally looking closer at things previously taken for granted in normal times. Also, re-evaluating and seeking out where beauty and delight actually resides in our outdoor world.
Look hard enough and, certainly from an outdoor photography perspective, it’s clear that beauty isn’t just found in grandiose vistas, great landscapes, majestic ancient woodlands, or epic seascapes. Beauty is hidden in plain sight, all around us.
In my case, it has taken my walking the same local routes time and again, to (re-)grasp this fact. To appreciate that the essence of beauty is right in front of us, even along what might otherwise feel like an uninspiring urban path.
So, when you next consider your essential daily exercise walk from home and thoughts of ‘same-ol’-boring-route-but-hey-ho’ enter your mind, don’t give into them. Instead, dare to adapt. Try alternative times of day, different weather conditions, or walk the same route in reverse. Whatever you decide, head out and seek that beauty in the hitherto thought plain, that delight in the once deemed mundane.