This weekend confirmed two profound beliefs for me:
- The thoughts we think manifest in our reality
- Time and space are not what they seem
Jonny and I decided to keep this weekend free and commit to venturing somewhere in nature that could allow us to relax and enjoy the scenery and stillness. Getting out of the city is a must from time to time, if only to inhale the freshness of unpolluted air and see the stars. Parallel to this, all week I had been feeling the overwhelming desire to be on or in or near water. Water, to me, has this way of cleansing the mind of its worries, putting things into perspective and – I guess – soothing the soul. We didn’t have a specific location in mind for said adventure, but were going to make a decision on the day and head west.
I had been searching for campsites along the coast before being drawn to the Brecon Beacons. That’s not the coast, I thought! However, I was drawn to Lakeside, a beautiful campsite adjacent to Llangorse Lake. I instantly knew I had made the right decision by going there. The reception staff were warm and kind when we approached them, encouraging us to go and find our favourite spot to pitch the tent in the beautiful meadow tucked away from the sounds of the boat engines, before reappearing to start exploring the waterside.
We entered the quiet meadow; 40 pitches claimed only by 5 of us in total. We listened to the birdsong – the first thing I notice when I’m somewhere new. We listened to the way they called to and played with each other high in the treetops and bouncing around on the dewy grass. The tent was up in 10 and we were heading back down to the lake before we knew it. Two kayaks were calling our names, so we hopped on top and set out amongst the swans and worked our muscles as we paddled around, cruising behind the speedboats and feeling the waves in their wake bouncing us up and down.
Half an hour in, I was almost in the middle of the lake, looking around me at the abundance of insects festering in the small pools of water that had splashed into my kayak, looking at the swans with their heads in the water and tails bobbing around amusingly in the air, looking at the mountains in the distance and collections of trees scattered over the horizon and I felt the miracle of being in such a place, when only several hours earlier I was at home in Bristol.
The thoughts we think create our reality. I had been determined to find the stillness and serenity of water and I had indeed captured it. It was one of those ‘nowstalgic’ moments that I knew I was going to remember always.
Something I struggle with is missing the United States. I lived there as a teenager and often miss the epic landscapes that America is known for. One of these places that I pine for is Minocqua, Wisconsin. I spent my summers there as a kid, fishing on the lake, spotting eagles in the trees and lapping up the loon call at dusk and dawn. Lake life is the thing there and I miss it dearly. This kayak around Llangorse was particularly special to me because it showed me that there are beautiful bodies of water that can offer me the same feeling signature even though I’m halfway across the world now.
I watched the water-skiers and children tubing on the back of speedboats; I watched the couples rowing gently along the perimeter of the reed beds, I saw the bird-watchers gazing quietly from their lookouts and I was in a parallel universe to Minocqua. We were all the same people, enjoying the same things, thousands of miles apart. It was connection and it was comforting.
The next day we decided to head to the coast and what better place to explore than the Gower Peninsula – offering some of the most awesome beaches in the UK. We drove one of the most beautiful road trips we could imagine, through the Brecon Beacons and towards Swansea. As we journeyed past Swansea and The Mumbles and further west to the shore, the ocean opened out in a great expanse and I felt that familiar feeling I get whenever I’m by the sea that makes me feel small, that makes me feel like there is something greater than all of us.
Further and further west until we arrived at our destination, Rhossili Bay, the ocean covered more and more of our peripheral. We parked the van and took in the panoramic view of blue. If I describe Rhossili Bay in one word, it would be sweeping. It looked vast and from the clifftop coastal path where I stood; before me I saw an epic landscape. I felt the awe and the beauty.
Jonny and I walked this path to the curiously-named Worm’s Head; a peninsula on the peninsula that is accessible at low tide. We scrambled around the rock pools, exploring the many alcoves and watching the birds of flight above us.
After a time here, we eventually began the journey home. This passed by in the blink of an eye and before we knew it we were unpacking the van and tucking into our dinner. It had felt as though a lifetime had passed. It had felt a long time since we were last in our home, sat at our dining table. Reality would tell us that it had only been a day; one night sleeping in a different place, but the truth is that reality warps when you are utterly present wherever you have travelled to. The time-space continuum is not a constant and I felt alleviated of the worry that life is flying by too fast, going to sleep that Sunday night. The more I immerse myself in my current activity, the slower time becomes. I have the power to alter my reality and so do you.