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Day 11: Drymen to Lennoxtown

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Much of our route today was on narrow tracks lined with verdant verge plants which spread their stems and flowers, seeds and fruits onto the footpath. Into 'my space'. I dodged the prickly ones, stepped over the spiky ones, and became liberally dusted by the grassy ones; I rubbed shoulders with tall ones, looked up to even taller ones, shared a kiss on the cheek with some and a handshake with others. Prodded at some with my feet, touched others with a passing caress of the fingers, and just admired the look and scent of many many others.

I know it's fanciful, but I spent time wondering how these beauties might have been responding to me as I passed through 'their space'.

Mostly it felt like curiosity: even the bramble prickles - the most protruding plant, reaching out at any height on the path including at eye height, and so demanding attention - seemed more interested in who I am and what I was doing there than having the malicious intent that others ascribe to their scratchy fingers. These I greeted with special gentleness (yes, I did!) because after all it's sometimes the most prickly characters who are the most in need of kindness.

Sometimes it looked like they might have been waving or bowing to me as I passed. A bit like a dance of mutual respect, a common recognition of each other's presence; I the guest in their home space, they the hosts for my journey (Greetings! Let me express my appreciation for sharing this experience!)

And sometimes it was more that I was the intruder, the creature out of place (Thank you for your patience!), or merely the observer of a richness of life that continues whether I or anyone else observes or appreciates it. (How beautiful you are - not that you need me to tell you that!).

Ah ... Now I am remembering Gerard Manley Hopkins' "What I do is me: for that I came!": yes, that was what I was hearing from these wild flowers today ... and yes, that's something worth recognising, and emulating.

14.5 miles

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