The sun is shining in Salford.  After months of rain and snow and very little of the blue stuff it feels like nature is finally a buzz with Spring.  Colour catches my eye as I tread the usual path to the park with the dogs.  It feels like we’ve been trapped in monochrome for months, now Forsythia offers the brightest yellow matched only by the daffodils, proud Magnolias are in bloom, hyacinths deliver a splash of colour with an aroma to match and hungry bees are out searching for nectar.

My usual route has been transformed by the natural world awaking from it’s long winter slumber.  This transformation sparked my brain in to drawing a parallel between walking and communicating.  My initial thought focused on how the dogs might feel on the lead and off the lead.  On the lead I control our direction, our speed and how long they get to sniff a particularly good sniffy spot.  Off the lead anything is possible (well within limits).  Conversations can feel like this, if we can take the time to slip the lead, be curious, be explorers, walk a different path, feel the earth under our feet then we’ll more than likely end up somewhere new.

Moving on from the dogs, I started to think about the routes I follow every day, to the park, to the shops, from the bus and link these back to the conversations I have every day that follow the same route.  ‘How was your day?’ is a classic in our house!  We are creatures of habit, we follow the same paths, we hold the same conversations.  But what if we didn’t?  What if we found an interesting ginnel to travel down, gave ourselves permission to take the long way home through the park?  What if we travelled the same route with the curiosity of a two year old, senses open and ready for the adventure?  The 8 spotted ladybird on a blade of grass, a peal of laughter from behind a high fence, a black and white cat sunbathing on a windowsill.

If we walk the same paths we get to the same destination!  If we walk the same path with curiosity, our senses alert then we’ll probably reach the same destination but with a greater appreciation of the journey travelled.  If we allow ourselves time to slip the lead, follow a different path, have an adventure., then who