The best thing about walks is that they prevent me from doing anything. I pride myself on not ever having had a dull moment in my life. Well, the downside to that is that I find it difficult not to do anything. When I’m out on a walk I can’t write emails, arrange photos or write blog posts. Walking gives me the privilege of letting my thoughts flow freely and that, I think, is necessary if you want to be creative. I have sometimes found the solution for a problem at work while having a walk in the woods, quite suddenly without even trying to find it, or not knowing that I was looking for it. I don’t know if there is any scientific proof for it, but I feel that there is so much truth in the saying that having a walk clears you mind.
I don’t have a favorite path, or to put it more accurately I do have many favorite paths, none of which is an absolute favorite one. I choose my path according to the light, the time of year or weather. During winter I choose paths with open views and hills because the sun is so low even at midday that there isn’t enough light for taking photos in a thick forest. During summer I avoid forests altogether because we have lots and lots of mosquitos around here. The best time for forest walks is late autumn, or early spring. I roam in these woods so often that I know when the light hits each of one my favorite spots, given that there is sunlight that day and not another blizzard which has been the case quite often lately. Still it is sometimes difficult to decide which path to take. Today I had trouble deciding whether to go snowshoeing in a forest where there aren’t any paths during winter, or to take some country roads down to the sea. I decided to do the latter. However, there was so much snow by the sea that I would have needed the snowshoes after all, and the wind was biting cold, which made me wish I had gone to the forest instead. Still I managed to take some photos that I’m happy with, so all’s well that ends well.
My favorite walk is the kind that inspires me. Whether I walk alone or with a good friend, whether it snows or rains, whether I decide to go east or west. It might be something that she says, or it might be something that glimmers in the snow, or then it could well be a new place that I find when I lose my way.
Robert Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Words & Pictures: Annika Ruohonen
This post also appeared on Annika’s website, a place of lovely words and pictures that you should definitely go and check out. Annika Ruohonen Photography.