When I was growing up my grandfather would take all the grandchildren for walks. Whether it be a weekend or school holidays, he would find the time to take as many of us on an adventure.
Usually we’d be from dawn till dusk, easily covering 15-20 miles.
Unlike many children who are born in built up areas or cities, we were very fortunate.
Not only did we have fields and trees as far as the eyes could see, we also had hills to climb – and Sankey Canal passed within a mile of where we lived.
Our house was on the outskirts of a major industrial town, yet met by so much natural beauty. My Granddad still lives in the same house he’s lived in for over 60 years. When he wakes every morning, he opens his curtains to fields spreading for miles.
We would take a packed lunch and some rope to make swings in the trees. When the weather was right we would go swimming in an off-shoot of Sankey Canal, known locally as ‘the flash’.
In the summer all the local kids and teens would go down and take inflatables and floats to sunbathe on the water.
But times have changed, you barely see anyone doing this now a days.
These days kids are more interested in games, mobile phones and technology. Gone are the days when you could go out on an adventure… now you can have a virtual one in the comfort of your home anywhere in the world.
Even though I am much older now I still like to escape to the sites that are still there.
A few months ago I found myself sat on a huge tree stump… when I told my Granddad where I’d been he informed me that the stump I’d sat on was probably the same one I sat on 20 years ago.
When I started to think about what my Granddad was saying, it came back to me straight away. It was a large stump that was halfway through a trail that we’d stop at and have a rest and a drink, ready for the trek back home.
When I went back, just the other day I remembered ] something my Granddad said to me.
“Martin sit where you are and don’t make a noise for a minute”
So I did as he asked.
“What did you hear?”
“Exactly, you can’t beat the sound of silence.”
Now at this point I am about 12 years old and getting to the terrible teens stage of my life and thinking to myself ‘This eld fella has lost it…’
But now that I am older I like to escape the big cities. Get away from technology, cars and people rushing by missing out on the simpler things in life. And as I write this I’m sitting on that very tree stump enjoying the sound of silence.