Walking the Southwest Coast Path


Day 36
Stoke Fleming to Brixham 15 miles

Got an early start out of Stoke Fleming this morning and made it to Dartmouth where we took the ferry over to Kingswear. The Castle at Dartmouth brought up the ever familiar sense that we get here for the rich history that exemplifies this entire coastline, and the depth of connection that the British have with the sea. It is one of the gifts that comes with walking, and having the landscape’s story enter into your very being. It is a relationship of importance worth cultivating in respect to our moral sensibilities, and palpably felt for us this day. It is all about stories of course, and stories have the capacity to not only inform and entertain, but to heal as well; making us hail, hearty, and whole!

Upon entering Brixham this evening at the days end, and having settled in for the nights reflection and rumination, I game across an article on The Exercise Cure by Jordan Metzl MD. Considering that Thoreau would never see walking as merely taking exercise, the article captured my attention enough to explore it further, and to be ultimately struct by its premise that too much sitting is not good for us. Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic, has been studying the down side of sedentary life for the last 15 years and claims that sitting is the new smoking for todays generation. This juxtaposition of human behaviors struck my educator’s eye and caused me to wonder; if smoking is illegal for youth, and banned in all schools, should sitting be likewise? We sure have them doing a lot of it, and perhaps we’re even killing them over time! Twelve, sixteen, and for some, even eighteen to twenty years are dedicated to this venerable enterprise we call education. Perhaps the pedagogical benefits of walking, or the peripatetic schools of ancient times, needs be reinstating for the power of reconnecting us to the very ground we walk upon, where the power of story may heal us in hail, hearty, and whole ways. Worth a deep ponder as where I have come to the opinion and conclusion, after 30 years of being an educator, that well over half our time in school is wasted, I must now ask if the other half is actually a health risk?


One thought on “Walking the Southwest Coast Path

  1. Gaslight Crime

    The replica of the Golden Hind used to be in a TV series about Drake when I was a boy. You are coming near to where I lived – Teignmouth – for over forty years, though it’s not the best bit of the coast. East Devon is much better.


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