Last time out I wrote about how little cycling I actually do. A few utilitarian miles from A to B. To the shops, or the station. The more miles I do, the better I am, right? Yes, that’s true; but it’s not the whole story.
The short miles do help, though. First and foremost they help because they get me from one place to another. They get me out of the house. They are urban. They are full of stops at traffic lights, and keeping away from lorries. They are not breathless, and they are certainly not sweaty. These short miles have a purpose greater than their distance. They mean that I can do things that – mostly – are good for me.
Other things help, too. And they don’t have to take all day. Getting out of bed. In the morning. The short miles to my toothbrush, the kettle, the toaster and the radio.
These places – the bathroom, the kitchen – rarely, if ever, feature in a Wellness Recovery Action Plan. It tends to be the noisy days of activity, the breezy decision – making and the Connecting with People parts that catch the eye, and fuel the professional satisfaction of oh so many mental health workers.
Some days, even this many words can be enough.
Down to the end of the garden in the night.
With cigarette and glass of cold milk.
I pick my way over heaps of builders’ rubble.
Light from the new kitchen window comes along too.
Peter Didsbury (1946 – )