I work out of a number of different offices in Richmond, Twickenham and St. Margarets. I’ve also recently joined a gym.

I walk between them. I like walking and at the moment I’m refraining from running (a torn ligament) and I like being able to have that time to think, reflect on what’s happening, and more importantly, to notice what’s going on around me. I used to listen to podcasts or music however I’ve made a conscious decision to be more present (see here and here).

I’m lucky to be living in an area that has parks and a river nearby. These spaces are important to me and I appreciate the positive impact these spaces have on my health – physical, emotional and mental. 

However not all spaces need to be so grand to have the same impact and benefits. There are many smaller spaces that can provide us with an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a change of scene.

One I’ve found is very close to Twickenham. In fact it’s opposite Twickenham station. There’s a little path that runs alongside the River Crane on one side and the trains leaving and entering the station on the other.

It’s called Twickenham Rough.  It’s not very big and it’s not very long – it takes not much longer than five minutes to walk through it.

But what it lacks in size it provides in richness. There are birds of all kinds including woodpeckers (about the only one I can reliably recognise if I’m honest). There’s fungi, growing on felled trees, and pushing up through the earth. There are so many things to see, even if they are ‘ordinary’. The more I invest in being present then the more I discover and the more I get from being there. It’s not glamorous, it’s rough. It’s wonderful. For a few minutes I am in a different place in so many ways and I can focus on the wonder of nature. I can relax. I can breathe.

These few moments are so helpful for me. It’s particularly lovely when the sun comes out. Even when it’s raining it provides me with respite from everything else that’s happening in my life. 

We are all living our lives as best we can – with our challenges, opportunities and difficulties. Sometimes these things are all we see as we go about our life. I wonder what you can discover and what difference it could make to your life if you can find your ‘rough’ patch?