Stopping

Stopping is something I do repeatedly when I’m out walking. I can’t avoid it, and don’t try to; in fact it’s become so habitual that I would be a very annoying walking partner (I almost always go for walks alone). Whenever I’m out, and wherever I am, now and again something will suddenly catch my attention and I’ll come to a standstill, then retrace my steps and have a closer look.

This means I can find myself looking at some strange objects, in unexpected places, and whenever I suddenly stumble upon a collection of interesting looking things, frequently time passes without my realising how long I’ve been wandering around and exploring.

The colours and textures of things like this are just irresistible. I often like them even more if I can’t identify them, because I’m not labelling them in any way, thinking, oh, what a fabulous old boat (these pictures were taken in a boatyard). If I’m thinking at all, it’s something more along the lines of Oh! Oh! and nothing more lucid than that.

I’ve come to realise that walking about and then stopping, physically, is a really good way to stop mentally as well. Stopping in front of something that I can gaze at in wonder is just the start. Then comes the part when everything else starts to slow down and stop, too, and I can find myself slipping into stillness, and silence, and being aware of nothing else except the peace of the present moment.

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