This past weekend has been extremely nostalgic. Last week I went to Deal (Nature Journal 2) and lots of memories arose. However, this past weekend had me remembering all over again with a drive through and walk along the Hythe Canal.
When I was very young I had family living in Hythe and so my mum would often pick my brother and I up and take us over there to visit.
As soon as I started driving past the row of trees that line the canal I felt a wave of calm drop over me like a veil. I had been here before and what’s more it looked no different even though it had easily been some twenty-five years since my last visit.
It has only been over the last week that I have truly realised how powerful nature and the mind truly are. On both recent occasions it has been the surrounding natural world that has caused long forgotten memories to erupt.
As an ode to my childhood years we went for a walk along the canal stopping to look at the beautiful green canopy above us. A stunning dark pink Hawthorn was still in gorgeous bloom and we watched people rowing boats up and down.
The water in the canal was to my surprise crystal clear. Which my son absolutely loved as we stopped and watched some fish swimming about amongst the greenery in the water.
Walking along the canal you get this feeling that nothing bad could ever happen here. (I’m sure it probably has). It’s honestly such a delightful place, surprising as it’s so close to Hythe high street. Not that you would ever know as you wandered along taking in each plant, flower and tree.
A little planted area provided my eyes with such a treat I didn’t want to leave. A gorgeous bright pink Rock Rose was in full bloom with its orange centres and its almost crepe paper like petals. It completely stole the show for me.
After a short wander we came to a little footbridge which we crossed after stopping in the centre to admire the view down the canal on each side.
It’s such a tranquil place even though there are people all around. The array of trees, bushes and plants allow you to completely forget about the other people around you. It’s like having a tunnel vision of nature and I was completely caught up in its magic.
Wildflowers were growing on the bank as we stepped off of the bridge. Happily existing beneath the tree canopy.
Several weeping willows caught my attention and reminded me of days spent swinging under the one that grew at the bottom of my childhood home garden. It had been planted the year I was born so I feel a strong connection to this glorious tree.
As an even bigger treat we spotted a mother duck and several ducklings all resting at the water's edge. They were so tiny and could only have been a few weeks old. All fluffy and huddled together in this sweet ball of fluffiness. At that moment my heart felt so open.
The sun had come out in all its warmth and glory for us today and as we walked along seeking some shade from the overhead canopyI could help but feel happy. I was with two of my most precious people, my son and my husband and we were enjoying this blissful walk completely enraptured by our surrounding beauty. I was so happy to be sharing this place with our son who was now walking a path I did at his age.
I left that day feeling content and happy with a small sprig of wild flowers which happily sat in some water for me to enjoy for a few more days. Prolonging the magic that nature had bestowed on me that day.
Charlotte Fay is a Nature Writer and Author from Kent UK. Find her on Instagram and Candide under @charlofay