Making Tracks

The farmer from across the lake came to cut the silage last week. The three foot high grasses are gone. In their place sits a brownish stubble. Yet only four days after cutting green shoots are pushing through. These don’t, however, distract from revealing the track people have trodden from the Plas (the big house) to the lake.

Before the silage cut the track was marked by the wall of tall grasses through which it wended. Now it is a dark-green line running through an un-green field. In length not much more than 100 yards yet it by no means runs a straight line.

Only if you fix your eye on a target and walk unerringly towards it will you create a straight path, as you might in an empty public square or perhaps across the vastness of the fens. Out on the field your feet seem to make the decisions. They feel the unevenness of the surface and changes in gradient and you adjust your course accordingly, probably without much awareness of doing so.

No one marked out our path. Some one trod it and another followed the barely visible signs of the first footfalls and so at some point it became the way that others followed without the hesitation that arises when having to decide on their route. Is this not the way that many paths have found their way in the endlessly variable British landscape?


Track, looking South

Track, looking North