The other side

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We are so blessed to walk to school every day through the woods. To hear the bird song, sense the breeze in the branches, gaze up into the forest canopy. However there are mornings when I fail to walk in wonder and connection; far too often I am hurrying my dear ones along, particularly our youngest – I so desire for us to all walk together, but all being different ages and taking different paces, and the eldest being very keen on being in school before the bell rings (8.25am !!) – it is not often the tranquil amble through the forest I aspire for it to be. And then this morning, as often happens, we meet other friends along the way – so the eldest ones pick up speed, and I find myself more than ever the impatient mama ‘Come on! Come on! Hurry up!’ Bless little Finn. He’s so interested in things he spots along the way – notably dog poo, bits of broken glass, a feather, an alternative route which would take us double the time .. etc. And I feel I have to continually rush him on. Of course, there are other options here – leaving earlier, letting go of being altogether as a family .. Anyway, so this morning, we come out of the woods onto the common. And everyone else is right across the other side, waiting to cross the road. I turn back, and spot Finlay, way back, stopped on his bike, gazing into the middle distance – ‘Come on Finn!’ I yell at the top of my voice, so frustrated that he is taking SO LONG .. Eventually he joins us, we cross, we make it to school, and everyone is dropped off, and it’s time for Finn and I to make our way home. I am stopped in the car park by a friend, who says ‘Wow, what a beautiful picture I saw on my way to school this morning. I was driving past the common, and looked over, and there saw this little boy on his bike, stopping to gaze at the water spray on the cricket pitch, and with the backdrop of the forest and the bright sunrays, the picture was immensely inspiring – it will stay with me all day’. Wow. The other side to the picture. One which allows for the pause, for the gaze, which isn’t in a hurry, which recognises the beauty of the moment. Great to be reminded of that truth.

May it inform my coming days as we enjoy the forest walk to school for just one more week…


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