Having Enough Time

Kelsey Breseman
3 min readMay 15, 2023

This Saturday, we had a fleeting taste of summer. We toasted Eileen's birthday with thimble-sized samples of blackcurrant whiskey liqueur at the street fair. Touring Caernarfon Castle, we disoriented over and over in the spiral staircases of the polygonal turrets, hearing carnival screams and then music, watching the flow of crowds and then sea from the many tower faces. I lay beneath a tree to read for two hours and didn't mind the damp grass a bit. The sunshine felt so lovely on my legs.

That's over now.

On Sunday morning, we checked out of the uncharacteristically delightful Airbnb we'd been staying at (laundry machine en suite, a tea table, an expanse of plush gray carpet). Through the six big windows of our temporary room, we watched the fog roll in. Then strapped packs to our bodies and went out into it.

It wasn't all that bad, but we did sit in the bus shelter for nearly an hour in our puffy coats before ascending to the youth hostel at Pen Y Pass, and then three more in a chilly cafe until check-in.

For a hostel, the lodging is pretty good: we shelled out for a private room for the week. It's a high price for bunk beds and stained carpet tiles, but we have access to a well-equipped kitchen — the most food autonomy we've had all trip — and the mountain paths leave directly from the door.

We're in Snowdonia now. It's rugged, astoundingly beautiful, and much colder than the coastline below. It mists actively, clouds rubbing up against you when the wind blows. Just to stand outside, I want full rain gear and the gloves and thermal shirt I haven't reached for yet this trip.

I'm content. Our week is unplanned, and we have the gear for whatever suits us. A calm has settled; the knot my back has been holding for months is finally almost gone. The body craves movement, and the mind, quiet. I don't owe anybody anything right now.

Into the space, I have time just to perceive. I feel the wind, look out over the lands, write in my head while I walk. Morning and evening, I practice yoga from videos on my phone. I play with words, with photography. I have time to be curious again.

We've been on our trip for two weeks now, and we have four more to go. We cover little ground, thoroughly: the whole of our trip fits into a radius of about sixty miles, and most of that is the distance across the Irish Sea.