Because I’ve lived in so many different places, I don’t have one specific place to go to when I need to recharge my batteries.
Instead I have a routine or a ritual which usually makes me feel a bit better. This involves an early morning experience – a walk, cycle, run, or just a prolonged gaze out of a train window after an overnight journey. These moments are invariably alone, but sometimes with close family members and nearly always with either my camera or sketchbook.
My main aim is to have a few moments of quiet, to hopefully listen to the birds and watch the sun come up and to realise that life is about more that whatever stresses I have been contemplating during a night of restless sleep.
These are some of the places where I had early morning reveries.
The woods above Hebden Bridge, England.
Early morning run along the banks of Lake Mälaren
Sketch drawn early in the morning of vineyards in the south of France.
Winter sunrise along Åkers Canal in Åkersberga, Sweden.
A walk on Jangwani beach at sunrise in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Morning stroll in Hong Kong Park from my Hong Kong Sketchbook
Dawn bike ride on the outskirts of Baldock in Hertfordshire, England.
Walk over the moors above Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire, England.
Sunrise over Lake Victoria near Mwanza, Tanzania.
A wintery walk with Vera and Baron in Baldock, Hertfordshire, England.
Morning run along Sheffield’s Five Weirs Walk, England.
Sketch of the Stepp on a journey from St Petersberg to Nizhny Novgorod in Russia.
The Reveries of a Solitary Walker is by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a philosopher, writer, and composer of the eighteenth century, whose political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment in France and across Europe. The book contains ten meditative “walks”. This short paragraph comes from his Seventh Walk:
“Reverie relaxes and amuses me; reflection tires and saddens me; thinking always was a painful and charmless occupation for me. Sometimes my reveries end in meditation, but more often my meditations end in reverie; and during these wanderings, my soul rambles and glides through the universe on the wings of imagination, in ecstasies which surpass every other enjoyment.” The Reveries of a Solitary Walker is by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.