Sunday, 23 September 2012
Lewis appeared at the bedroom door dressed for exploring; his telescope under his arm and bird and snake identification books tucked alongside a coil of rope in his belt. Try as I might to drag myself from my late afternoon slumber, I could not muster the energy to set out on an expedition on that blustery, wet spring Saturday. So he laid the clothes carefully beside his bed and when I emerged from the bedroom the next morning was set to go. How could I refuse? After a quick breakfast smoothie my thoughts of a Sunday morning surf were pushed to one side and we set out into one of those dazzling clear mornings that often come after a storm.
We crossed the bridge over the river and turned left, where the forest meets the farmland and wild places can still be found close to the rolling green pastures. Ducks jogged through the trees and skidded down the banks onto the water and my boys skirted in and out of the trees, finding secret hiding places in the undergrowth and floating sheets of bark down the creek.
So many of our days are spent at home - planting and weeding and hammering and digging as we shape our home and garden. But sometimes I need a reminder to step beyond our front gate. There is a whole new neighbourhood for us to explore, and as the warmth returns to our days I feel the call of the river trails. Lewis lassoed dead branches and pulled them to the ground, and hauled his brothers up muddy creek banks. We ate apples and almonds in the dappled forest light. And then we came home and I moved some more dirt while they collected jarfuls of garden snails, content to be back home once more.