Tuesday, 13 November 2012

In praise of the unintentional and reasons to go on a night walk

There's much to be said for the intentional life - living consciously, mindfully or however you choose to term it. But sometimes everything goes topsy turvy so all you can do is try and be mindful of the unintentional and go with the flow.

That was our weekend. Nothing turned out as planned, but the unanticipated was just as enjoyable. There was a last minute invitation to a free music event to hear a band. A BT engineer arrived to fix our dodgy phone and internet connection at the same time as old friends on their way home to Scotland caught wind of the porridge cake and made an unexpected visit. My quick grocery shop turned into a major family outing, with a lot of time spent choosing items for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. And the carefully nurtured slow cooked Christmas chutney, went on a real go slow and wouldn't chutnify when it was supposed to.

All weekend I'd promised myself and the children we'd go for a walk, when all of a sudden it was Sunday evening and it was getting dimpsy.

No we didn't take sparklers on our walk;
but I haven't got many night time photos so this one will have to do!

There was nothing for it but to leave the vinegary house, step outside and instead of berating ourselves for having left it all weekend, turn our belated walk in the dark into a night walk with intention!

Our top 10 reasons to go for a walk in the dark:
  • In the part of the globe that we inhabit there's not much light at this time of the year, and the daylight can disappear before you know it, so make the best of a bad job and get out there!
  • When you can't see, your sense of hearing is intensified. Even something as simple as the sound of your own footsteps is more magical in the dark.
  • My kids will go out for a walk much more willingly if there's a bit of an adventure involved, and the darkness provides that extra frisson of excitement!
  • Dodging potholes and puddles is more of a game when you're not sure where they are.
  • You get to see familiar surroundings from a completely different perspective.
  • If you set off in the twilight, even after sunset, you'll see the sky change quite dramatically.
  • How dark is your dark? Are there street lights? Are there stars?
  • You can have a lot of fun with a torch, even a small one.
  • Nosy parkers can take a sneaky peak into the domestic lives of others, if their lights are on and they haven't drawn their curtains yet.
  • And of course a cosy house is so much cosier when you come back inside from the dark!
It goes without saying that if you are going out for a walk in the dark, remember to choose your route wisely and stay safe!


  1. It gets dark so early now, it seems as if we are always running out of daylight. I agree that a walk at twilight can be magical as you watch the sky and light change around you. I've been out a couple of times this week at sunset, and I have really enjoyed it.

    1. We saw some wonderful shades of dark blue sky with streaks of blue cloud as it got darker.

  2. What a great idea. Even more fun in December when there are Christmas lights to see. Btw -dimpsy? That's a new word to me!

    1. Yes definitely good in December - I wonder where the first lights will appear round here! Dimpsy = Devon dialect for twilight. To me it's a word that has always conjured up the right atmosphere for that time of evening!

    2. Thanks, I shall add it to my vocabulary.

  3. I love your list of reasons for going for a walk in the dark! It's a bit like walking in the rain, they are both enjoyable at times!

  4. Ah, now you've got me thinking about my top 10 reasons to go for a walk in the rain! :-)

  5. Years ago I walked the Northumbrian coast at night - stopping and sleeping on the beaches during the day, sometimes wandering into a cafe for breakfast. Night by the sea is magical

    1. Couldn't agree more! And we are big fans of the Northumbrian coast, day or night...