Sunday, 3 August 2014
Recent rains have put rather a dampener on my countryside walks and the even more recent heat has made being exposed to the sun a no-no. Earlier this week I'd had enough of being cooped up, so my friend Rijan and I decided to weather the weather, and ventured out.
I bloody love the countryside. So quiet and yet so alive with sounds, once you start listening for them: birds, bees, grasshoppers, startled wood pigeons flapping frantically as they take flight, the rustle of dried leaves as an unseen rabbit hops through the undergrowth, the snap of a twig underfoot, as a deer moves almost silently through the trees - a woodland ghost - and so many more telltale signs of wild inhabitants.
I'm fascinated by the abundance of life and the different varieties one encounters, walking from sunshine to shade. Life thrives even in darkness, always working together with those of the light, to regenerate, renew, regrow. A good metaphor for life, I feel.
That cottage - oh! So beautiful. As I was taking a photo of it, the owner was looking over the side gate and I got to talking to him. It was built in the 1600s and its characteristics are amazing - those roof tiles! I love how old buildings bulge out slightly at the middle, as if they're breathing a sigh of settled contentment. The gentleman lives their alone now and I couldn't believe it when he told me he is 92 years old. He was so engaging and 'with it', I enjoyed our chat. It's so nice to talk to people, even a few brief words, instead of all of us being closed off, heads down, staring at a screen a foot away from our faces everywhere we go.
A highlight of the walk was the tiny treehouse we came across. Rijan had seen it before, so we went there at my request - I've been obsessed with treehouses since I was a little girl. It was so neat, tucked away in the perfect tree and it even had steps carved into the tree trunk. I climbed up to take a closer look and it felt so great to be up in the woodland canopy, to be a part of it. The treehouse looks as though it's been there a fair ol' while, as the internal floor is disintegrating, with big holes in it. It was interesting to see it in a state of abandonment and disrepair, but I couldn't help feeling a bit sad that its purpose is no longer being fulfilled. I like to imagine all the children who might've played there in the past, the games of fantasy and make-believe that were played, the play wars fought from this lookout fort and many secret club meetings held - how perfect!
I found several different wild flowers to put in my flower press - I'm excited to see how they turn out. How cute are the pink and white flowers above?! They remind me of sweets. I've only seen the white variety before, but there were pink and white ones absolutely everywhere we went. I also found my first ripe blackberries of the year. Just a few, plump and juicy amongst bunches of green, unripe fruit. Boy, they were the best blackberries I have ever tasted. They must've been in just the right sun spot, because they were warm, soft and unbelievably sweet. Nature is so full of gifts. I mean, just walking along and oh hey, have some delicious blackberries that I randomly grew here! Incredible. Mmm, and such a welcome snack to help me up the big hill on the way home!
I find such joy in these little things - focusing on the fantastical details of the seemingly ordinary, finding whimsy in the everyday, helps me to deal with and distract from the fears and anxieties that build up on a daily basis.
How has your week been? I hope it's been full of moments like these - with such awful things happening around the world, search out tiny pleasures, my friends.
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