Wandering in early spring

January and early February are quiet months in the seasonal walking calendar. I don’t plan big walks at this time of year, because the weather is too unpredictable and I don’t like slippery surfaces much. Plus, tramping about in mud can do a lot of damage to land and plants alike, so I tend to limit walks to lanes and solid footpaths.

My seasonal plants of preference – snowdrops and catkins – are available right outside my front door, so seasonal plant-orientated pilgrimage does not have to involve much effort!

However, we’ve reached that point in the year when there are odd warm days, its drier underfoot and it can be good walking weather. It’s tempting to get out, but still risky. How risky walking at this time of year will be of course depends firstly on where you live. Are sudden blizzards a risk? Could sudden loss of visibility put you in danger? What’s the footing like and can it change quickly if the weather changes?

I live in a fairly mild part of the world, and I don’t walk in the mountains. My risks for this time of year are about getting cold. With crappy circulation, I suffer a lot if I can’t stay warm and while walking is good for circulation, if the ground is cold enough, or the wind chill fierce enough, it can get challenging.

I know for a lot of people the great challenge of pitting self against nature is an exciting prospect. I don’t have a body or a mind for conquering anything, so I have to work cooperatively with the natural world. I have to walk when it’s passably sensible and stay in if it isn’t. I have to consider how cold I can afford to get when thinking about distance. There’s no one right way of doing this stuff, but I assert that it’s absolutely ok to be not in the least bit macho about it.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Wandering in early spring

  • Martin

    I”m an old guy and I walk about three miles (round trip) roughly every other day along a paved bikeway that more-or-less parallels a local creek near where I live. Like yourself, I am ever conscious of the weather – even tho’ I’m a native Oregonian I dislike getting wet.

  • jrose88

    I want to do more walking, but this is definitely not a good time of year for it. Where I live in Northern California it’s been raining on and off since December and the roads out of my neighborhood are prone to flooding. Some days I can’t even get to work, let alone go outside for a stroll. It’s nice to have rain after years of drought, but I long for summer.

  • A sudden spring | Druid Life

    […] week I blogged about spring walking, and the uncertainties of planning long wanders early in the season. I worried about the cold. What […]

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