On Monday, Jenna and Morgan threw a big strop and said they didn't want to go to the library. I took them at their word, and walked myself and the two littles in, leaving behind two big girls howling at their Daddy that they had changed their mind and wanted to go. Too late! (Mean mummy, alas, cannot magic her children dressed in time when they have a last minute change of heart.)
The air was just what I needed. Hand in hand with sweet funny Rowan, I walked off all the morning frustrations. We found a nest. We saw the startling bronze of the moss on the white walls. We heard the birds singing ("a song of love, and an egg" as Jenna once told me so very long ago when she was barely two years old). We walked on walls. We admired the fresh sweet pink and white of the blossoms. We blew dandelion clocks.
On Tuesday we went to Wirksworth to get our laundry liquid bottles refilled. It's a car journey, but on the other hand there is a lot up there to visit at the same time, and the draw of getting the solitary laundry liquid that doesn't irritate Jenna's skin without putting packaging into landfill.
(I kind of wish I lived in Wirksworth. There is a butcher, a baker, a chemist, a post office, an old fashioned greengrocer with a vegan wholefoods section at the back, lots of quirky little shops... and of course Traidlinks, with gifts, natural candles, fair trade wholefoods, recycled paper goods, and Ecover refills. Not that we can afford to move - or if we could, to move there...)
Anyhow. We went for a walk in Stony Woods, where the old quarry used to be. It's all baby woodland but the climb to the top of the hill, to see the modern stone circle with constellations mapped on the floor, was refreshing and centring. And tiring! But in a good way. Wirksworth being the kind of arty town it is, there are some beautiful installations on the way up to the star chart too.
This little one sucks her thumb. And her two forefingers. And the edge of the sling. She is a very tactile baby. It's cute, and also just that little bit strange, when my heart sees her getting her own comfort as happy as baby could be.
There are some places that just make my heart sing.
On Wednesday, we took another proper walk, in spite of the pouring rain. And hail. And wind that flushed the children's cheeks rosy red, and turned our umbrellas inside out. And had the tiny new lambs hiding under the hedges looking miffed at this cold world they suddenly found themselves in!
Talia stayed warm, thank goodness. She has to be pretty fast asleep to let me tuck her head in, even in this weather!
Really, this week has met some deep need in us to get back outside for longer each day no matter what the weather. We all need the freedom and the fresh air so badly right now! I have been shaken right out of the bleak mood I was in at the start of the week, and the children are much happier. Is that because we have all been touched by the same glorious grace of green spaces, or just because they are reflecting my more positive outlook? Who cares! Mama needs trees.
Either way, now Mama has been amongst the trees all week, perhaps sanity is restored in our home.