Sunday, 16 November 2008

Refreshing walks in the rain

Well I did indeed don my raincoat and wellies and head outdoors into the mizzle. I went on my own leaving husband watching Ratatouille with the boys. It was roughly 3pm when I left.

The first 15 minutes were wet. And I pondered my sanity on being out. But I perservered. Then something amazing happened. The wind blew the rain directly into my face and literally washed the cobwebs away. For the first time in what seems like a billion years I felt entirely on my own. My brain felt free. I wasn't being nagged. I wasn't cajoling. I wasn't shouting. I wasn't working. I wasn't watch trash on TV. I wasn't talking. I wasn't doing anything except being. And it was marvellous.

The freedom of the it was the best bit. I actually did start talking to myself but only because the moment was so fantastic that I felt I had to say something, even if it was to myself. I felt so light. So free. So reconnected with the part of my brain that used to get used for random thinking.

I distinctly recall most New Years Eves that until the last five years of my life, were all spent exactly the same. I would examine my life. I would think grand ideas. I would imagine and dream and come up with positive ways in which I would change my world and the world around me for the better. Obviously on New Year's Day with a hangover, I seldom did any of those things, but at least I'd had the chance to navel gaze and examine my life for a few moments. It's been a long, long time since I had the chance to do that.

And although this walk gave me that chance, I didn't want to ruin the walk by thinking deep things. I just wanted to enjoy knowing that I could if I wanted to. And so I walked on. I stomped in a lot of puddles, which in itself was lovely instead of reminding small boys not to let the water go over the top of their wellies.

I was just going to do our normal walk - the loop - as we call it. But I got to the bit where we normally turn back and I thought to hell with it, I'm going exploring. So I headed up a public footpath that I'd never visited before. I quickly realised that I was no longer on the public footpath but on private land, but I didn't give a rat's bum. I stomped on.

Then I got to the top of a hill and before me lay a view of jaw-dropping beauty. Rolling hills, a herd of at least 20 deer with a stag, several hares that were larger than most dogs lolloping about in the fields and dozens and dozens of pheasants clucking about. It was like I'd stepped into some kind of film set. Except here it was. Right on my doorstep. And in three years, I've never discovered it. So I walked on. And on. And on.

I found a forest and literally had deer jumping across my path. At this point I was convinced I was on some kind of cold air acid trip but I kept walking. Eventually deep in a wood, the path ran out. I was surrounded by trees dripping rain off their leaves. Quiet. Nobody except me and lots of things that could have been shot and put in a stew pot. For about five seconds I thought it was bliss.

Then my South African paranoia kicked in and I realised that I was on my own. In a wood. It was almost dark. I wasn't 100% sure which way home was but I'd been walking for at least an hour. No-one knew where I was. And things could go horribly wrong turning my disney skip through the woods into something more sinister.

So I about heeled and retraced my steps until I spotted a field that looked vaguely familiar. After a long time, and now in the almost complete dark I found my way home.

I was exhilirated. It was the most head-clearing, slightly scary yet relaxing, life changing thing I'd done for a long time. I got bollocked by husband when I got home as he was starting to worry (which I did have a debate about with myself on the way home as to whether he would be worrying or whether I could have ended up in a bear trap in the woods and he'd only notice when the kids started to nag for food).

I have now decided that stomping across the fields, regardless of weather, is something I am going to fit into my week - at least once a week. I am going to risk getting shot at by grumpy farmers and pheasant poachers and being disembowled by protective stags. It was bliss. And I highly recommend it to all mothers. It's the new sanity saving tool. Move over prozac. Hand me my hunters and mac.


Welsh Girl said...

If you are going to go for walks through film set style woods with Disney animals leaping across your path you are going to have to break into song.... It's the law!

Home Office Mum said...

Had I had a voice to break into song with, I might have done. Besides I would have scared all the bunnies away and might have exploded a pheasant ala princess fiona in Shrek.