About the The Spirituality of Walking course
Walking is among our most ordinary activities, but it can also be highly intentional, rich with symbolism and meaning for our lives. We can go for short local walks, or more sustained ‘planned’ walks along the myriad paths and trails that criss-cross and edge these isles. Graham Ussher notes that “as we walk into a landscape, we leave our mark on it and it leaves its mark on us; as we explore the outside, so we explore our inner selves”, and Rebecca Solnit writes of how the ancient practice of pilgrimage is a “literal means of [enacting a] spiritual journey”.
Come and spend a weekend at Sarum College, where we will walk in the local area and explore together writing about walking in prose and poetry. Writers may include Robert Macfarlane, Raynor Winn, Graham Ussher, Kathleen Jamie, Thomas A. Clark, Fréderic Gros, Cheryl Strayed and Rebecca Solnit. We’ll consider the relationship between walking, identity and transition in our lives, and how more recently women are claiming their voices (and feet, and bodies) as walkers and travellers alongside men. We gather in the vicinity of Elisabeth Frink’s Walking Madonna (1981) and she will also form part of the weekend. Robert Macfarlane writes of walking as “enabling sight and thought … [and] paths as offering … ways of feeling, being and knowing”. This is very much the spirit of our journey together on this weekend.
About the course leader
Rosie Miles lives in Birmingham and spent over twenty years as an academic and educator, teaching and writing about English Literature. She now offers poetry courses, workshops and occasional retreat events under the banner ‘Poetry with Soul’. She has contributed to many Wild Goose anthologies and her debut short collection is CUTS (HappenStance, 2015). Rosie is gradually walking the entire South West Coast Path and has now walked 421 miles. She walks solo, carrying everything in her rucksack, and strongly believes walking has a great deal to teach us about living well. In recent years Rosie has retrained as a professional gardener, and she is part-time General Gardener at the Alpine Garden Society, Pershore. She also runs her own small gardening business in south Birmingham.