Monday, 20 June 2016
This is my last night on the Staffs and Worcester as tomorrow I turn on to the Shroppie. It will be the first time I have been on a canal familiar to me since mid April.
It is very appropriate that this turning happens just as the summer solstice marks the turning from longer days to the light slowly fading towards winter. The Spring energy of growth and reproduction changes to the more settled, slower movements of mid summer.
So I hope it will be with me. My cruise so far has been full of challenge, energy and travelling. It has involved friends visiting and new learning experiences such as broad locks and river cruising. I have been busy doing and while I am 'doing' I can avoid 'being'.
One important reason for giving up work and embarking on this cruise is to explore my inner world and to have long periods of time for reflection. I want to experience how scary it really is to have all the time in the world with nothing to do. No purpose, no usefulness, no plan, no busyness. I want to see whether any wisdom comes from this exercise. Perhaps I may even learn things that are worth sharing.
To do this, I need to slow down, in tune with the summer. I need to declutter my hours and spend less time distracting myself with computer, TV and books (not to mention the whisky!) I need to travel more slowly and sit more often. (I do realise how counter cultural this is). It may be an absolute waste of time. I may slowly go mad. I may give up and get busy again. I may learn nothing. But when my inner voice prompts me to do something, I have learnt it is wise to obey and that no good ultimately comes from ignoring it.