My mum called me the other day after finding out I had a few days off work over the weekend and offered to take Toby and I away with her to my parents caravan. I panicked at first, the idea of not being in charge of everything, of being away from my house for more than 8 hours, taking Toby in the car as he gets car sick, not knowing where exactly the place was and what we would be doing.
But in the end I said yes, I needed to get away she was right, I couldn’t hover around the house waiting to hear if I was needed at work and pick slugs out of my flowers. I needed to let go.
So off I went up the A1 with my mum to a camp site near Bowes museum (that’s the building in the distance of the photo) and though I started off worrying about everything from where I could smoke, to how Toby would cope with no garden to go out in as he doesn’t like to poop when out walking, to how the people who always stay at the site would look at me as a stranger amongst them. While I was out walking Toby the beauty of where we were strolling calmed me down, as we tramped through the mud and muck and he tried to chase the bunny rabbits that were all around I felt calm and with every walk (as there were many) I felt the me I actually liked coming back. All the people on the site were friendly and like in an old style village they would all say ‘Hello’ as we walked past with a smile even stopping to chat. Surrounded by Geordy accents it felt safe and when sitting on the decking of the caravan to smoke the gentle roar of the river that Toby and I walked along was like white noise that helped to quieten my mind.
Toby sat watching those rabbits and the other dogs walking past for as long as I would let him, happily relaxing on the decking in between scratching himself silly with hayfever that has been the bane of his life this past week. We saw such beautiful flowers and views while out walking but I never got around to taking photos of them because I kept getting stuck in the mud and didn’t want to drop my phone in it! I’m so tired after all the walking but it did me good, maybe it just took that push to get me back out there and nothing will do that like knowing that another creature needs you to do something because they can’t do it alone.
I almost wish I hadn’t had to leave, as soon as I was home it was like it had never happened. The money my ex owes me has still not been put through my door, my garden has been munched by invertebrates, work has already called me to ask a favour and change my shift tomorrow. But I will try to use the memories of those walks by the river, up hills, over stiles, down roads and through mud to help my mind stay grounded.