Last Sunday’s Dadima’s Walk in the Chilterns was along the Ridgeway, between Lewknor and Watlington—and it was an intergenerational walk with a difference.
Geeta Ludhra, our leader, invited us to take photographs of nature which interested us, it was an encouragement to notice the small things around us.
Priya Ganatra gave a brief talk on the benefits of aromatherapy. She volunteers for Spread a Smile, a charity which brings joy and laughter to children in hospital, and their families, and her aromatherapy gives comfort and relief. Priya passed round aromatic sticks, and we had to guess the oil. She asked us to describe the smell and people volunteered ‘woody’ and ‘furry’. It was juniper, which grows on the hills around. The smell was an invigorating, bright start to the walk.
We walked through the woods and stopped to take photos, of leaves, branches, lichen, sunlight through trees, berries, mosses or wider views, the children eager to join in.
I enjoyed chatting to new friends; I always learn so much on these walks. I took photos of trees and ivy.
I sent ‘old hedgerow’ to Geeta: Old hedgerow is the remnant of the old hedgerow bordering this ancient track. The ivy grows on the tree trunks and they are symbiotic, just as we all depend on each other, our friendship and camaraderie; and as we depend on nature, so nature needs us to respect and appreciate it.
I also sent her this view to the escarpment.
Freedom of the hills: looking over the cultivated land to the Chiltern escarpment, where we have fought for freedom to roam responsibly, and achieved it to some extent—but there is more to be won, so it gives a feeling of hope.
We walked down to the Spire and Spoke pub on the edge of Watlington and sat in the tepee. Geeta and Subash generously bought us all drinks, and we watched the red kites flying low over the field behind.
Then we retraced our steps, stopping at the Ridgeway sign for a photo.
We took more photos on the way back.
When we returned, Geeta reminded us to send her two or three of our best photos with a story of what interested us about them. There would be an award for the best. But, as bright young Arjun said, it’s not the award that matters, it’s the fun.
And yes, it was fun.