So we’re off on an adventure!
After delayed airline flights, over-heated trains and freezing buses, we made it to our destination of Minehead, Somerset where we pick up the northern start of the 630 mile National Trail called the Southwest Coast Path. At 64 and 60 years of age respectively, my wife and I don’t exactly fit most definitions of adventurers, but we take quiet issue with all those views and strike out on our quest with high resolve and stubborn determination.
Our journey is in part a celebration of our retirements from careers in formal education, as well as marking our 36th wedding anniversary. More importantly though we wish to reflect upon the nature of adventure itself and address the lack of it as a necessary inclusion within standard educational curriculum planning. Everyone needs an adventure in their lives, and the fact that most have it through vicarious means today is becoming problematic, especially for youth. Much more to come regarding that over the next 45 days of peripatetic rambling though!
Our call to adventure has been something we have payed heed to now for well over eight months, and the most important key for us has centered around the question of attention. Something we are called to by our teachers since we first enter institutional learning, and away from within the very same demand. Travel calls for it continuously, but true adventure requires it as its very cornerstone and why walking, and long walks in particular, is so uniquely promising toward the cultivation of it. But enough of all that for now, we are off and walking.
Day # 1
An easy 10 mile walk from Minehead to Porlock along a stretch of coastline that stood out dramatically to our cloistered senses after miles of mechanical means of travel. An area of outstanding natural beauty where elemental forces meet and form the stage upon which history has unravelled itself, and where we encounter the nature of adventure itself.
Exmoor National Park’s grandness borders the Bristol Channel and the land & sea commands an attention easy to hold and maintain. Transitioning from one view to another is marked by the simple turn of one’s head where the senses are bathed in the wealth of nature’s bounty.
The wild ponies of Exmoor remind us of the deeper connections that live here within this landscape as well as within us as well if we are but steadfast in attending to them. Ah, its good to be back to magical Britain where nourishment on multiple levels await us at every point of the journey.