How many times have you walked to Old Trafford tram stop and spotted the herons design on the BT box? Or seen the sunset scene on the BT box on your walk to Old Trafford? Well, I have walked past those boxes a lot over the years and never noticed the art; and I’m not the only one. We (human beings) tend to operate on automatic pilot a lot of the time, rushing ahead to the next task, caught up in thinking; we’re like walking heads!
So, one Tuesday evening in July I decided to follow the trail on Gorgeous Gorse Hill’s map. It was easy to follow, taking me along points on Chester Road mainly, directing me to look at art and nature on my door step.
Taking the time to stop and notice, I surprisingly started to notice more: the delight in Wayne Rooney’s face on the corner of Sir Matt Busby Way; reflected sunset in mirrored buildings; noisy Canada Geese flying overhead… I noticed more detail in the art: colours, shapes, and repetitive patterns. And as my walk went on, I noticed a shift towards appreciating and enjoying more the walk I was on. I must admit to usually focusing on the less attractive side to Gorse Hill: noise, traffic, fumes, concrete (what was that about autopilot!); much more interesting to balance that with art and nature.
Apparently all this ‘being present in the moment’ stuff is good for your mental health. It certainly was the case for me on my walk, but don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself, what do you notice?