Finding the river!

Vicky Page

The forecast had been hinting all week at an upturn in the weather, with the best of the warm spring sunshine we’re likely to have seen yet this year. As you can imagine, not having any epic trips to look forward to helps you to focus on what you have closer to home. That sense of perspective can really change your approach to the simple things on offer.

So, In the absence of that long-planned weekend trip to visit extended family elsewhere in the country, we planned an adventure. No car, no spending money, no meeting up with friends – we decided to see what we can see by foot. Our once a day, permitted exercise. You’d be surprised how much you can look forward to it.

Loaded up with water, snacks and a variety of toy binoculars and magnifying glasses, we set off to find our local river. We know it’s there, we see it when it floods, but it’s not a walk we often do, which seems all the more ridiculous now I come to think about it. With not a soul in sight, the closest we came to another human being was the farmer in his tractor on the far side of the valley.

There had been a slowly building sense of malaise in the house, with four of us all working from home and struggling to find the space and peace we all need to maintain harmony. There were grumbles and complaints, dawdling and meandering, bickering and huffing, but within 5 minutes of being outside it all started to melt away. The children almost immediately discovered new favourite sticks and feathers, there was a spell casting challenge and some impromptu fencing, we even worked out that in all these years of living here we’d assumed the river flowed the wrong way.

Spring walk with feathers Vicky Page

Vicky Page

But best of all, we saw peacock butterflies dancing through the hedgerows, blackthorn bursting into flower, we tasted fresh young hawthorn leaves, examined the stingers on young nettle leaves, shared the wonderful medicinal smell of bruised meadowsweet, and stopped, amazed, at the sight and sound of a skylark rising through the air in what I’d assumed was too intensively farmed a habitat. If ever you needed proof that those wild field margins work, here it was.

And despite the cries of “my legs are tired” we achieved our goal – to rediscover the joy of our very own patch, and the thrill of Spring’s inexorable march toward Summer.

Spring blossom Credit Vicky Page

Vicky Page