Saturday, October 21, 2006
Chestnuts and autumn leaves
We took to the hills this afternoon not that far away from home. It meant putting the dog in the car with the children who had been bickering for a while inside. At the top of the hill is a most magnificent view of the patchwork of fields, upon which the sun shining through the rain clouds seemed to pause and move on with its rays of light. We gentlly walked down the path, the children playing hide and seek, we all had a go at tag and the dog had a mad moment of sheer joy. The damp smells of autumn remind me of childhood, we spotted mushrooms and an old chestnut tree that was shedding its fruit. We did breathe in some air and the children visibly calmed down. At the end of the path we discovered a picnic bench with a great view although it was quite exposed and made plans to return soon with a flask of hot chocolate and a nice cake to share. A winter picnic idea. Why not? When the heavens opened, we pulled our hoods up and sheltered under the canopy of a tree. The boys created gates we had to pass using code words and we walked hand in hand up the hill. We did not meet a single person on our walk and the car park was empty. Guess the holiday season and tourism is no longer relevant at this time of the year. Its a time of change in the woods, where the silence of rustling leaves is only disturbed by footsteps and some children’s laughter. The steam train in the distance chugged away and used its whistle to fill the woods with a faint sound. When we got back home, muddy boots littered the hallway, boys organised cookies and milk and we sat around the table savouring the time we spent together, noticing rosy cheeks and a healthy glow all around. Its these simple pleasures I delight in these days, a walk with my big and little men, grateful for the laughter and joy we share. I noticed how much I had missed that view over the hills towards the sea and how we must make time to come more often. The landscape will change and maybe our winter picnic could happen when crisp snow covers the woodland paths and the warmth of a woodstove will beckon us home. Its good to dream of simple pleasures and capture that moment in my memory before venturing on a small trip away.