The Salt Path – What can a walk mean?

Book cover: The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

I’ve been thinking about walks recently because of the Artful Ways project and because of a book I’ve just finished reading: The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. The Salt Path is a true story about a couple who embark on a 630 mile walk along the South West Coast Path from Somerset to Dorset, through Devon and Cornwall.

They embark on this walk without the usual ambitions to complete it, to tick off all of the stops on a checklist, or to have bragging rights. They walk because they have to, they have reached the end of one chapter in their lives and don’t have a new one ready and waiting for them to easily step in to. During the walk they discover a deep sense of connection with nature, which can only be found from living so closely along side it night after night, with just a thin sliver of polyester tent material over their heads and no roof waiting back home if things got tough. The walk also allowed something else to happen; a space to open up, the possibilities of what to do with the rest of their lives laid out in front of them, metaphorical paths mirroring the real ones they were walking along.

Walks can give us space to think, space to answer questions, sometimes some of the biggest questions we face in life. The answer can come to us in a flash, as soon as we let go, stop mentally searching and start physically moving, all of the cogs seem to slip in to place and there it is; a solution, a resolution or a possibility.

When you embark on your Artful Ways walk and consider the 3 questions about Creativity, Connectivity and Place, you may find more answers than you expected, new possibilities, new paths may open themselves up to you. Get out there, explore, enjoy and let go. (And read The Salt Path if you haven’t yet!)

Hartland Quay to Hartland Point, The South West Coast Path. Image: Wikimedia Commons

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