Weather can be a gamble around here. Sunny, clear-skied and mild — then blustery, brittle and cold. A lot like the northwest really – the kind of climate that makes you dress quickly and SEIZE a glorious moment before it passes.
Thankfully, England has approximately 140,000 miles of public footpaths, so you are never far from a spur-of-the-moment stroll through the countryside. We found a footpath stile just outside our gate here on the farm and had just been waiting for a (clear) day and (dry) time to follow it.
We set out yesterday, for a late afternoon walk – eager to explore and meander. The girls ran ahead much of the time – chasing after waymarks as though they were clues on a great treasure hunt.
One of my earliest memories (and first loves) was chasing those same waymarks and public footpath signs…hopping over stiles & stalls across the English countryside…a little girl in Wellington boots, on a grand adventure with her sister.
As you can imagine, as I watched my girls do the same, the world felt balanced and familiar. The moment, both ironic, but inevitable.
Of course they would learn to love waymarks and stile-hopping. Of course they would grow up traipsing and touring the hills & vales of Britain in colorful rubber boots while the sun set behind them.
Because even though life is uncertain – memories and nostalgia are powerful things; forces, as they say, to be reckoned with. Like waymarks, perhaps they have a way of guiding us back towards places & spaces where we’ve been wild & careless, loved & brave. Just a big happy heart in tiny boots.
Moving house isn’t easy. Crossing an ocean has its hiccups. Saying goodbye stinks. Getting resettled is Hard (with a capital H).
But – as the sky turned a deep, royal, endless blue and the stars came out around us – I watched two tiny shadows hop and run towards the farm they now call “home.” And I couldn’t help but think about why we left and why we came here – and why it is that roads less travelled have their lure.
Life, I guess, can be like fickle weather. Can’t it? If it gives you a moment to reach for your coat, put on good boots and find a path to explore – you should jump; because the weather may change at any moment. And if you go, I’m fairly convinced you’ll be glad you did. Even if you all lose your boots in the mud for a while…like we did. <smile>