The sun was truly setting now, with campus merely a dim reflection of its glory in the sunlight. I couldn’t stay out much longer, but I really didn’t want to head back to the flat so soon…my 2-hour escapade had somehow gone so fast like running water through my fingers. It’s not that I didn’t love the people I lived with or the close friendships we nurtured, but rather I’m quite the introvert and I am partial to some me time. In fact, without it, I feel as though I can’t properly process my thoughts or my day without being alone, even just for a little bit. And on this particular evening, I realised I hadn’t afforded myself any time alone in the past few months! I was crumbling inside, and I’ll be the first to admit that I spent a lot of this walk nearly in tears, overwhelmed despite being so very happy in England.
The woodland walk was my saviour on more occasions than one. This 4km campus-perimeter trail afforded not only the most wonderful tour of campus, but also gave solace to those who were hurting and formed a secret little place for the happiest of friends to share full-bellied laughs in our own little space. I spent many a walk alone along these dirt paths with trees that curved above you and made a lovely glimmered green tunnel for you to walk under and admire. But I also took to the trail more often with others: with Ellie when we were trying to get fit after gobbling down Ben & Jerry’s the night before in her bedroom; with Michelle when she flitted between needing a shoulder to cry on and just needing to get out and walk; with Chloe one night at midnight huddled together for the chill was so strong; with Cris when we just needed an adventure…
I find that nature’s ever-changing quality absolutely charms me. I must’ve done this woodland walk once or twice a day for months, and never once did I ever get bored of it. Admittedly, there are many paths that lead off from the basic round-campus trail – some led us to a secret river where you had to hop across stones to get past, some found us wandering past the duck pond, some into town, some just there for a mindless wander when you needed a break. I think – apart from the people – I’ll really miss the solitude of the woodland walk the most out of my Lancaster experience (what irony, hey!). Never take anything for granted