Walking back to happiness

I was going to write a post about happiness to follow on from ‘It’s OK to be Happy’ – but the words just won’t come out right. It’s late, and I don’t want to give in and not post something tomorrow morning. I’ve not missed a deadline yet! But I need to do a bit more thinking about this – it’s one of the great joys of writing this blog, it forces me to think about what I really think.

So, instead of a post about happiness, here’s something I wrote a little while ago about something that made me happy.

I went out for a walk.

I live close to the Leeds Liverpool canal and my usual walk is along the canal and then home again via the back roads. It normally takes me about half an hour unless I stop for a drink at the café.

Today, on impulse, I decided to walk up to the park instead. I turned left out of the front door, and headed up the hill.

And, again on impulse, I decided to cross the road and take one of the side roads. I’ve lived here for 6 years, but I’d never been along this road before – never needed to, I suppose.

I walked and walked and kept on walking. Along roads and lanes I’d not walked before. It clouded over and I thought it might rain and I thought that really I ought to turn back – and then I decided not to. The rain started, but then stopped again, and the sun came out and I was glad I hadn’t turned back.

It was lovely – big houses, then farmland, views over the valley, geese with goslings, a swan with cygnets. And I just walked and walked, for no other reason but that I wanted to. Finally, I found myself back at a place I recognised, and I could have headed for home – but I didn’t.

I carried on. Off to the left this time, heading downhill, more roads that I didn’t know, but I knew that I had to come back to the canal eventually. And there it was, the canal path, but further along than I normally reach on my usual walk. I carried on a bit further – why not?

By the time I decided to turn around I’d been walking for the best part of two hours. I stuck to the canal path on the way home and reckoned it would take me an hour. I saw more goslings, eight of the tiniest ducklings you can imagine, and a very cute dog. I was tired, and my feet were aching, I’d been walking at least three hours. I’d had a truly lovely afternoon, alone with my thoughts, stretching my legs, building my strength.

I opened the front door – and there was no-one there to say, ‘You said you’d only be half an hour, where on earth have you been??’


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9 Comments Add yours

  1. oldhowie says:

    Hi sis I used to get up really early 6ish and take my bike along the canal from Apperley Bridge to Bingley. There’s something magical about that time of day on the canal, and the wildlife hasn’t vanished for the day, herons etc. You might have inspired me to start my early morning trips again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant!! I’m feeling inspired too – I’m just about to walk to Saltaire!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anglosvizzera says:

      That was a lovely walk that my husband and I did with your friend Jane and her husband a few years ago on our honeymoon, from Bingley to Saltaire along the canal. You’re all very lucky to live with such beautiful walks on the doorstep – and Saltaire was a wonderful place to visit.

      We will always remember it though because Jane suggested we get the train back to Bingley instead of walking. My husband went to get some tickets and somehow pulled a muscle in his calf which meant that on arrival at Bingley, Jane’s husband had to go and get the car to take him back to their place.

      As we were doing a tour of friends and relatives to celebrate our wedding, the following day we went on towards County Durham and stopped in York on the way to have a look around. My poor husband was still in a lot of pain, but at the market there was a man selling some ‘magic’ spray that he guaranteed would take any pain away. I challenged him to try it on my husband – and within a minute his pain was gone. It was some kind of spray made from natural things like mace and wintergreen, so he bought some – which saw us through the rest of the holiday. Of course, it was only to get rid of the symptoms, but it was a memorable time in our lives!


      1. It takes the best part of an hour to walk – but it’s only 4 minutes on the train!! Proud to say I walked both ways today (although I’ve certainly hopped on the train in the past!)


      2. anglosvizzera says:

        We would’ve probably walked back too, but had booked a table at an amazing Indian restaurant back in Bingley (I’m sure you would know it) so had limited time. Just as well, because if the muscle problem had happened on the way back, we’d have been stuffed! (And not with Indian food…)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. elizabeth28263 says:

    I really enjoy walking and try to go every day – it brings some calm to a busy life. I’ve been lucky enough to see a kingfisher on a branch looking into the water, Then s/he dived in. Lovely!

    I remember going to Saltaire as a child and learning about Sir Titus Salt. Enjoy your walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Elizabeth – I’ve just got back home, it was lovely. I’ve actually seen a kingfisher on ‘my’ stretch of the canal, but not today sadly. Saltaire is so interesting – I normally just pass through on the train, so I enjoyed mooching about.


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