As Spring continues its attempt to arrive, I have really got back my sense of seasons and seasonality. And they speak of different connections with me and this landscape that I call home.
I’m reminded of these connections – my space, seasonality and my experience in this landscape – when I bike, walk or run across them. There is an openness, at least for me. I’m running or riding or walking to various locations and various spots on the local map. But this is a wide canvas. Spots on the map are spatially relative – a few kilometres. A few hundred kilometres. I love engaging with these.
So, at an extremely local scale (that is, at the end of my street and a block here and there) I’m fortunate to share the environment of Nail Can Hill Reserve and walks along the Murray River – the border of NSW and Victoria – and I meet people who are doing similar things.
For me, these meetings are great – they speak to me of people who are sharing similar aims and experiences – regularly returning to these places to reinforce senses of connection and engagement through cycling, walking and running.
But, I have to admit, I’ve lost my way a bit with this. I love to travel slowly and feel the contours of the landscape, its smells, its micro-climates, which is why I walk, paddle and cycle. But I have now also embraced running and, with that, connections to the time clock.
Actually, perhaps it’s more than connections – perhaps I’d become a bit of a slave to the time clock – those measurements that hide on the internet on my account and pop up when I sign in to my exercise site of choice.
And so it became this. My measurements of within the landscape, usually taken by reference to smells, sounds, observation, had become measurements of through the landscape – made by the technology of my ‘running and walking’ gear integrating with, and crashing against, my sense of engagement with the landscapes I was moving through.
I’ve slowed again, though not every time. But the schedule shows plenty of slow pace again – the long slow distances of cycling and walking. And I feel like I am back engaging with the landscape, rather than using it as an outdoor gym. The images on this page are some of the results of walking with a camera and some time (even if I kept my fitbit on – just for the steps you understand).