This weekend, the first weekend of spring, we spent as much time outdoors as possible. It’s still chilly and the new buds are only just starting to push through the soil, but there is definitely a change in the air. The mornings are lighter, there’s a smell of new growth on the wind and the lambs are starting to appear alongside their mothers in the meadows.
We chose to try out a walk in the Forest of Dean, about a half an hour drive from our house. The Forest has an old world quality to it, parts of the wood feel like nothing has changed since Henry VIII’s time and you half expect to see a tudor hunting party rampage its way between the ancient trees. But in the end it was just us, a few other walkers and cyclists, and the peace of the English country side.
We spent about two hours walking the trail, which incudes more than a dozen sculptures by artists interpreting the local countryside. It made for a more enjoyable walk, spotting each sculpture as we made our way along the muddy paths. But we also took the time to stop every so often and just listen. Once the sounds of the children laughing and whining (there was both!) died away, we realised there was a gentle cacophony of birdsong creating a layer of noise – a noise that would have been the constant backdrop of sound to the people of ancient tudor times.
Further along the way we came into an area dominated by fir trees. Here, the sound changed again to one of the wind in the trees, sounding all the world like the rain on a roof or the sea crashing on a beach. It’s funny how nature can disguise itself if it wants to.
We took the short cut back to the start, where we sat down in the cafe for a welcome lunch, feeling we deserved it after our long walk. The sounds of the forest were once again drowned out by children’s voices and dogs barking.
This post was my contribution to Tiny Expat’s Show Your World weekly blog event.