Lament for a Giant’s Sigh

by Toby Chown

A reverie of nightwalking

In 2008, as part of my dramatherapy training, I found myself walking in silence at night across Dartmoor. We were given instructions to have a buddy and carry a torch. We were told that one staff member would go at the pace of the fastest, and that another leader would go at the pace of the slowest, and others would walk between us. We had already surrendered our phones, and we were asked not to use words to communicate. We walked in rare darkness, free of light pollution, along the country roads with their dry-stone walls, banked hedges, high roots, upward through the sparse woodland that leads to the exposed treeless moors themselves. We walked for a short while on the moor itself, and then back down again onto safer and more inhabited parts of that place.

It was an invitation to go within and without at the same time, through the simple act of walking, into a semi wild environment, in a group, and yet alone. The subtle arrangement of these conditions allowed for a mood of