An adventure always starts with the first step
How many times have you said to yourself, ‘I can’t because…’, for which fill in…because I have kids, because I work, because I don’t have time, because I don’t have money, health, the right kit, the right look, partner, car…the list is endless of all the things we don’t have or are not yet able to be.
Which is what I love about Charlotte, she didn’t let any of those excuses get in the way. She just packed a bag and took the first step. That was years ago before her fourth child was born, she wanted to go for a walk. So she did. In fact many long walks; 870 miles alone the Welsh Coastal path, Offa’s Dyke, Glyn Dwr’s way, not to mention a month long walk with her three youngest children in Scotland in the school holidays.
She carries everything she needs, sleeps in a hammock strung on trees and gates and usually walks alone. What inspires me most about Charlotte’s walks is how quietly she does them; no fuss, no fanfare, she is very private and quiet about them….
She has walked in small chunks. She took 4 years to complete one trail, but as you listen to her talk you can see not only the acceptance of a slower pace, but the joy and serenity of it. She catches a bus or a train, walks for 6 hours, catches a train home in time for tea and then starts off where she left off the next time. This is such a lesson for one such as me who can be impatient and prone to moving too fast, always on to the next thing.
There were moments when I was listening Charlotte describe sleeping on cliff edges, being woken by badgers and seeing deer, when I felt a huge surge or something rising in my chest, expansion, then tears. I know that feeling in myself and it is the feeling that comes when I hear a truth spoken, when something touches a truth in me and there were several times which Charlotte’s word pictures had that effect on me.
What Charlotte does is timeless, ancestral, holy and ordinary and simple. Spending this time with her felt like a reminder of what really matters in life.
Here is a link to Charlotte’s 870 mile walk of the Welsh coast for The Sick Children’s Trust https://www.facebook.com/charlotteiswalkingthecoastofwales and here’s her link to that charity of you would like to donate on her ‘Just Giving’ page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/10percentaunties