Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure
My default setting when we’re having a tough day is to get out of the house. Get outside, find the sun on your skin, dance in the raindrops, sprint down winding paths under a canopy of seemingly endless pine trees, in short, do whatever you need to do to give everyone that space to breathe, to find their balance and to come back together as a whole five, hopefully minus whatever was making us tetchy in the first place. It’s a gift of space, a chance to sigh and let it all out, and generally it works, even if there are some days when it takes a little while.
On Saturday afternoon, as soon as Pip started stirring at the end of his nap I was calling to the girls to find their shoes and go to the bathroom because we were all going OUT.
“Where Mama?” they asked
OUT in this case was the little woodland nearest to our village. It’s a couple of minutes drive and if they’d build a friendlier footpath it would almost be walking distance from home. And once you’re in, the trees quickly shield you from the lane that runs around it, and if you can imagine the motorway hum to be the sea crashing against a shingle beach, far away in the distance, you could be anywhere in the world. It smells of the fresh green of bracken unfurling, and the warmth of pine needles underfoot.
And so we walked, well four of us walked and Pip snuggled up in the sling.
We jumped off tree stumps, squelched around muddy puddles, went to explore a lovely pine tree that turned out to be a prickly dead end, and when even that didn’t seem to be working and a sad and sulky little face declared that she never wanted to come here ever ever again, we ran. Races from tree to tree, and then just full pelt as fast as a little girl and a Mama with a hulking great big eleven month old in a sling can manage. And finally, a smile.
A smile that broadened as we rounded the corner and came upon a field of gold, glimmering in the late afternoon sunshine. We stopped, just drinking in that view, and then as the others caught up, sat on the edge of the field to talk about combine harvesters, straw bales, and the few heads of wheat that had escaped the combine.
As we made our way back to the car H and I knew that we were late for supper, and that we’d stayed out at least an hour longer than we intended, but it didn’t matter, OUT was where we had all needed to be.