On The Right Path

Footpath Just Off Our Lane
All I seem to have done this week is walk and work, work and walk, even walk to work and next week will be much the same, though I'm sure it will be worth it come next weekend when I complete (Goddess willing) my walking marathon! 
That said, I did manage a cheeky mid week night out with some friends from school - how wonderful to meet up with some of the people who shaped and coloured my youth, to revisit the pub we frequented to celebrate our O and A Levels, the place of many break up getting over it drinks as well being the place of many birthday celebrations and the start of several romances! 
It was both weird and lovely to see that we were still in essence the same girls that studied and partied together in our teens, borne out the photos of us that Sarah brought, proof of our super poodle style hair do's and blue eyeliner and mascara! 
Gleaned Wheat!

Every group has someone who takes the time to record everything, to remember who moved where, to manage to stay in touch with us all and pull us together, someone who knew it would be important one day when the rest of us were too busy living in the now, ours is our lovely Sarah, who just as importantly has a mass of natural curls, no poodle perm for her - I'm still envious of them! 
I knew I needed to get some serious practice miles under my belt for my Big Hike and was aiming for a good 16 -18 miles. In truth I was worried that I might not quite be up to scratch for the big day, a niggling inner thigh muscle was a cause for concern. Determined not to be beaten, after a deep grounding and calling in some fierce but loving warrior energy before I left, I set off from our house and headed off down the lane and through the fields, walking through the fields of Wheat and Grains, the symbols of my Goddess and of my dietary
Teston Bridge
nemesis! Right in front of me in the path was a fallen head of wheat which I attached to my rucksack and it bounced along jauntily with me and is now on my altar. This really was a good old fashioned meandering coddiwomple to be sure, at the last minute I changed direction and headed for the river, deciding I was going to head in the vague direction of a local spring and well that I had recently read about. 
I have to say all this training as well as being good for my health has given me some fantastic headspace time and a chance to build up some inner strength, several people have asked me if I get bored when roaming off on my own for hours and the answer is honestly no! Every few minutes there were friendly dog walkers, ramblers, cyclists and runners, something else I noticed too is that everyone says hello, literally everyone, none of this avoiding eye contact or any form of communication. It must be something to do with the great outdoors. 
A Very Friendly Bee
There were fortunately no surprising random cyclists with talks on neolithic monuments this week, though I had a close call applying deep freeze spray to my inner thigh muscle, if that cyclist had been 30 seconds earlier he might have seen more than he wished to I can tell you! It is the semi-fit long distance walker's friend! Walking along the old towpaths by the river and under the beautiful medieval bridges, I sat at the locks watching a boat manoeuvre through them with skill and was joined by this beautiful bee that danced gracefully through the flowers diligently collecting pollen. They didn't want to seem to leave me alone, either they were following me or thought that the tropical print on my new jazzy purple running leggings (check me out) were real! Whatever the reason, we soon parted company as I headed onwards lost in my admiration of the beautiful countryside around me, literally sometimes just standing gazing at the view of gently rolling hills
Beautiful Spring Gardens

swathed in lush greenery and listening to the bird song, either thinking 'wow' or just staring in wonder.
Looking for this elusive spring at the curiously named Pizien Well, I googled for a little clue to discover that it is now in someone's garden and the odd name may or may not mean poison, I hope not! As I strode on through a panorama of old mills and mill ponds, where wheat, corn and grains would once have been so familiar, I noticed all the little tributary springs by the road I wished I had picked a flower to add to them as a small offering, then I saw these beautiful cottage gardens, green and colourful flora bursting to life around the trickles of water, looking like something from a postcard and realised there was a beautiful permanent living offering in situ. Apparently local brides used to visit the springs on their wedding day morning to splash the water over them for fertility.
Strolling on as the day got hotter, I found a new footpath that I had never seen on any of the many times I had driven past,
My Ethereal Companion
 which led along another river through cool and leafy woodland. I realised with delight that I was being followed by a gorgeous blue dragonfly, who for whatever reason flew around me, then darted ahead of me, she would then settle and fly away when I grew nearer, in fact she probably thought I was following her! 

Stopping for a much needed rest of my legs and feet and a cold pint of cider I mused over the walk so far, the symbols and signs that had been waiting for me. No surprise wheat an ancient symbol for abundance life and fertility, as well as rebirth and resurrection, the humble bee - symbol of the home and family, hard work, life cycles and reincarnation as well as being the symbol of Demeter, the Greek counterpart of Ker, my own Goddess and of course the ever present dragonfly the symbol of transformation and spiritual growth. What an eclectic blend! 
Wateringbury Willows

Gearing myself up to do a few miles more, I set off again arranging for himself to pick me up from the train station at Paddock Wood about 6 miles away. Boots off, hot, tired and decidedly dusty in the comfort of the car I totted up the miles on the way home, and astonishingly made it a good 20 maybe 22 miles. Pretty happy with that! A few mid length walks this week after work to keep those muscles active and bring on the big one on Saturday Brighton to Eastbourne 26 miles.  Just decided to add one more photo as I took so many lovely ones and these Willows called to me, among many other magical meanings they represent strength and facing a challenge. Sounds pretty apt!
Bring on The Big Hike on Saturday!

Have A Blessed Week x x 

If anyone would like to sponsor me in my fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support I'd be very grateful for any small donation you can spare -  
You can Donate here -Thank You x x


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