There’s a beautiful nature reserve that I used to visit, but its meaning changed overtime.
The first time I went was with a boyfriend, he introduced me to the place. Surrounding a huge lake was a circular path, covered in huge trees. There was a waterfall and Roman ruins. It was very popular in the summer, I think we had a sunbathe on our first visit. He fell asleep with his head on my lap as I was reading.
We went a few more times together. In the autumn (of course) because that’s my favourite time of year to go for walks. On one occasion, part of the park was closed off due to a large film production (that’s how pretty this place was).
We broke up and I took someone new there. It felt different because it was different. It was always a pleasure, and it’s always nice to show someone a place that you like.
When dark times hit and I was signed off work, I went back. I was forcing myself out the house and thought a favourite place would help. Instead, I was thinking dreadful thoughts, making horrible plans and the evening was drawing in fast (it was January).
The footpaths were empty, the dark was stirring up all sorts of horrors in my head, every snap of a twig was a potential threat. I started running. I thought about hiding somewhere, letting whatever creatures in my mind take over and kill me. Then a member of staff on her little golf cart came by to tell me how to get to the exit as they were ready to shut the gates.
I left that park on a bad note. My brain wasn’t my friend and consequently, neither was that park. I’d like to go back someday with a lighter and brighter mindset – perhaps I’ll even make some memories for my daughter there.