Did you ever wander into unknown territory and wonder where the hell you were? Well we did. This weekend we took a gander at some fields behind our house which have been waiting with open arms for the last 18 years, inviting us to come and explore and stretch our toes out along its merry paths. We had been down there before and had always got the sense that we were in the middle of nowhere but this time, we were lost, truly lost; me saying that we had to go that way and he saying that we had to go the other way and neither of us were right because we forgot one little detail; rivers don’t go in straight lines. They are like (and now permit me to wander off again here) the “dunce” at the back of the class, head full of all kinds of “useless” stuff,. meanderings and musings, always ready to steer off the path into some nook and cranny, anywhere where she can get to, no regard for discipline or conformity. No straight lines for her. Teacher trying to drum it into her and the rest of the class that you must be like a canal (and here please allow me another go at comparison); you must do everything by the book, think in straight lines, blinkers on, do what you’re told. No back answers, no cheek, no thinking outside the box. A straight line from A to B. That way things will go smoothly without upset, no rocking the boat here.
So there we were, with only the sun to guide us as to which direction we should follow and the river always confusing us and bringing the sun behind us instead of in front of us. But we were truly happy. We came across woods that we didn’t know existed, full of Hawthorn bushes and crab apple and huge birch trees along with the odd oak and the ground there full of yellow lesser celandine and the smell of wild garlic assaulting the nostrils every so often. And then suddenly into a big open field full of cowslips and primroses and a hint of nostalgia for childhood crept in, great big long fields with uneven, boggy terrain.