Walk along the river that fills my ears with the steady, rushing babble of the water. Choose the muddiest paths and let my feet sink right in, dark peaty soil sucking and slurping at each step until it seeps into my boots. Duck as the budding branches pull and scrape along my jacket and lock into my hair. Wait a while sat on the woodland floor and graze my palm over the soft comfort of the moss and the tiny ferns. Watch as the nuthatch scales the trunk, then sits ‘doinking’ at the crown.
Feel the muscle ache scaling the rocks and exploring the forgotten mines. The whisper of my dog’s warm happy breath on my cheek as we stop and crouch at the whirring flight of two goosander. Stoop low to take in the tiny sharp spears of the crocus as they push through the surface.
Sometimes I forget; mistake the impulse to ‘let all the difficulty out’ with the real need to ‘let all the wonder back in’.
I entered the woods with ants crawling beneath my skin from a week of self control. I leave them with all my senses freed; blown open and filled up, to remember who I am.
And then home.