Another chilly January morning we find ourselves at Avebury, a place we haven’t visited since the warmer months of last year. Wrapping ourselves in as many warm layers as we can find to try and keep the icy wind at arms length we set off for our walk, both girls running along together this weekend.
Our usual entrance closed due to erosion we search for another, and before we know it, there they are. The stones. No matter how many times I visit the wonder and the connection is always there for me and this time I know it is for my children too. I watch them rush towards the nearest one with a need to be close to it, to touch it despite the cold. Their pure, innocent joy as they run behind it only to jump out seconds later with a shout. Lyra insists on measuring us all against one of the stones we pass. Bigger than Thee? Of course. Bigger than Lyra? So much bigger. Bigger than Mummy? Yes, still bigger. Bigger than Daddy? Even bigger than Daddy! She regards the stone with a new found respect, investigating the holes and the curves, stretching to try and get a glimpse of the top.
A dash across the road and we carry on, this time with a tired little Athena in the carrier. Watching as Lyra runs ahead ‘falling’ every few minutes to wait on the floor until I help her up only to throw herself on the grass again. An endless cycle punctuated by giggles, hers and mine together. We climb the bank and admire the landscape, heading towards the most magnificent tree I’ve ever seen, only pausing to greet some sheep and for the girls to share a tender sister moment.
The tree deserves proper investigation, once again countless visits never dull its appeal. With it’s ancient roots and branches full of hopes and wishes, I could spend all day beneath it. But my children remind me that that is not the chapter of life I am currently in. This chapter is about growth, movement and tending others needs before my own. I make myself a silent promise that I will once again spend a quiet afternoon beneath that tree in the future before setting off to find a small person’s discarded and almost lost welly.
The cold wind now through our layers of protection it is time to head back to our car. Our pace much quicker than before, we are back in no time and soon on our way home with plans to visit again, once more, in the warmer months.