I gave myself a photo assignment today, to take photos within a certain theme, and then went out for a walk. I was going to follow a 5 km path that would take me to the seaside and the villas by Askimsbadet. On my feet were my VFF; I figured, there's no reason not to train my feet, just because my knee is injured.
It proved to be a lot harder than I thought to take these photos. The things that usually get my attention can be found in more natural environments than the suburbs. Of course, this was kind of the point of the exercise, to step outside my comfort zone and notice things that I'd otherwise pass by. It worked, but the result was in most cases very...forbidding. Boring.
Can you guess what the theme was?
Of course I took other photos, too. I walked on the beach, on sand the ebb had revealed. I sat on a wooden jetty for a while, with Pearl Jam and Bon Iver in my ears, thinking about life and staring out at the wide expanse of the sea. It was still early in the morning, the sun was still low and I was alone. It was easy to feel the numinous under the circumstances.
I didn't want to go home. I didn't have to go home. I didn't want to think about what time it was, or what I had to do when I got back. I didn't even want to listen to my stomach's objections, already hungry a couple of hours after breakfast. I wished I had packed some food to take with me. I ignored my stomach and decided to prolong my walk.
Sometimes this enormous sense of wanderlust and playfulness takes over me. I long for adventure, for discovering new places, for getting lost. The child in me is unfortunately quiet more often than not, smothered in musts, have-tos and what-ifs, but when it speaks up, I listen gladly. I didn't know how far it would be, or even if it would be possible, but I was going to walk to Näset too.
Lazy Highland cattle were sunbathing in the tall grass and most of the dandelions were shedding their last petals, giving way to small white clouds that the wind would later carry on its wings. I walked with no real destination or idea of where I was. The rural setting appealed to me, but it didn't last. Soon I was back on the road, and to my (temporarily forgotten) assignment.
I walked past a kindergarten and snapped a photo of a building that fit into my theme. A middle-aged man saw me and asked me if I was ok. Baffled, I replied that I was. I wondered if he was nuts or just being nice. Could he help me with something? he asked. No, I was alright. I was just looking for objects for my theme, I explained feebly, with an uncertain smile on my face. I felt like I had got caught red-handed, until I realised why he was asking. Even if you're a woman, you might set people's alarm bells ringing if you walk around a kindergarten taking photographs.
|"Don't be offended if you get asked what you're doing in this area"|
On my way back, I took yet another detour to discover a tiny nature reserve right among the villas of Askim. I was out of it 5 minutes after I'd walked in, but I did manage to document the existence of some legendary forest creatures.
3 hours later, my 5 km walk had turned into a 13,5 km walk. Drunk on the scent of lilac and full on sunshine, it was nevertheless time to listen to my growling stomach and head home.