In the age of the 30-second attention span and the clamour for instant (often virtual) gratification, to allow enough time to be fully aware of a particular pleasure – by deliberately focusing attention on it – requires effort. It necessitates carving out enough headspace to relish a moment thoroughly and mindfully.

This post is about the senses and stillness. It’s about one of those calm, mild evenings when birdsong fills the air and all feels well with the world.

The walk I took was nothing special per se, it didn’t cover miles (in fact it hardly covered a mile in total!) but it was one of those utterly self-contained, satisfying evening walks when the ‘stars align’ and you can’t help but smile.

  • a cup of tea brewed in my new ‘boat teapot’
  • the new control levers on the steps out onto the back deck, and the thought of the journeys to come
  • the chatter from the beer garden of a canal side pub
  • an disused ‘arm’ where my previous boat had been ‘stretched’,

I walked along a section of canal that’s comfortingly packed with memories and associations, and as such forms a small part of my own water road heritage.

The sunset was breathtaking and lingered longer than I dared to hope. A grapefruit moon glowed pink/orange. There wasn’t a breath of breeze. All round it was a shirt-sleeved, leisurely hour to savour.

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