Lockdown strolls

Today my routine was set by narrow paths, uneven grounds and the serenity of water. I’m lucky to say I live 10 minutes away from a canal. I call it one of London’s best-kept secrets. Rare seclusion from London’s busy streets.

I caught the bus for a few stops to shorten those ten minutes by a half. Arriving at my starting point, which was by a closed bar. I took a quick glance around, to see which route I should take-down to the canal. Without stopping I walked through the bars open car park. Excited to go on an hour-long walk, I noted everyone that passed me by. Mothers pushing their prams, couples walking their dogs, some briskly running by, while others strode around me on their bikes or scooters. The path isn’t broad, however, our cordiality can be measured in masses. There was a lot of stopping and stepping to the side to let bikers pass, warm-hearted smiles and gratitude. We all wanted to be there alone and together. I enjoyed the short greetings that came in the form of friendly smiles. 

Stepping out of the way allowed me to get closer to the assemblage of boats that aligned one side of the canal. Each boat was divergent in its own decorated way. Some were enriched with plants on the decks, others had ornaments hanging around the entrance and a few windows were garnished with colourful paintwork. A fine homely touch.

Opposite the boats was overgrown foliage. Stretching out onto the path. Requiring me to stop or duck under protruding sprigs. Interweaved within the leafy backdrop were colourful florets. A beautiful distraction that took my mind off the lockdown and every thought or feeling that had me feeling blue.

The minutes ticked by unnoticed. A feeling appreciatively welcomed by me as I’d listen to the calming sound of rippling water. I ended my stroll by entering Hackney Marshes and took a seat on a wooden bench. Where I recharged my energy, whilst taking in the vastly open scenery. Here many others sat in a far distance of each other, alone and in a small group of three.  

Energised I leisurely made my way back to where I started, Home.

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