I know. Right? I just couldn't help myself. This post is like a walk through the woods for when I can't get out of dodge - I can almost taste the oxygen through the screen.
Last week the babes and I headed out. I had been feeling twitchy and tetchy all week, spiralling into something like a waking-state coma, catatonic, is that what they call it? The babes were looking stressed, I was feeling stressed, we were all like coiled springs and it wasn't going to end well.
Then the epiphany - why had it taken me so long to realise - we needed to get out of the city and recharge. We needed to have space to breathe. We needed a whole lot of nature to get back to. We headed out to the forest.
Parking up and opening the doors my children exploded out of the car and into the forest like a damn breaking. And the first sound from them were two contented, real, sighs and deep breaths. They spread their arms and ran. They knew where their old haunts were and made straight for them, off track of course, and I followed on behind, finding the path through the wood. Finding the path back to myself.
It is true that I am at my happiest in a forest, anywhere with trees. I crave solitude and the need is increasing as I get older. I need to get away from human-made noise, just beat a way through the wood and reconnect with something older, quieter, subtler, and more authentic than the crazy, mindless, forgetfulness that we call 'civilization'.
The babes played, discovered, sought and found. I walked, aiming my camera at everything pretty (everything). And before I realised it, without me knowing, there it was - the stress was gone. I was calm, content, happy, grateful. There was the real breathing I had come to expect from this place - pain had been replaced with joy.
We stayed out til we were out of breath, all stretched out, oxygen-rich. Then we headed home. Together. Content.