Two Walks, One Pain in the Neck

We Englishmen are now so used to wet summers and dull days that when the sun shines and the rains cease, there’s a moral imperative to get out of the house. I walked twice this week (showing how good our weather has been), once to Bracewell to examine some gravestones, and the other to Earby to try a new footpath. In many respects they were quite similar walks; both involved ambulating over attractive drumlins through fields of sheep. On both, I crossed babbling becks spanned by ancient single-stone bridges; both are about 30-35 minutes from my home and I was able to avoid busy roads for the most part.


And the difference? Apart from direction (north-west and east, respectively), it was a pain in the neck and shoulders. On returning from Bracewell, I had to lay me down to ease the stiffness. From Earby, I had no such malady. It has nothing to with Bracewell’s air, nor the pace at which I walked. From both, my legs tingled and heart pounded, suggesting a sufficiently brisk pace, but on only one did I have the pain.

It’s actually a condition I’ve had for some years. I remember walking around Jerusalem in ’17 and requiring regular lie-downs. Since then, I have discovered that stretching exercises work wonders. It’s not very dignified: I lay on the dining room floor, forehead down, and slowly move my arms around, from pelvis to head. Four times daily seems to keep the pain at bay; the nicely-stretched neck and shoulder muscles seem to then take kinder to walking. Before I went to Bracewell, I hadn’t done my exercises, and I paid the price. Before Earby, I had. So that’ll teach me.

We really would find this life less painful and draining if we spent more time each day on our faces before the Lord, exercising our spirits and meditating on His words. By casting our cares upon Him, discerning and submitting to His will daily, we would surely save much grief and less-stiff necks by eventide.


Three pictures above: Path to Bracewell

Path to Earby