After what had begun to feel like an endless winter we made it out to the woods on a dry day. A dry day, I’d almost forgotten what they were like. Of course the girls still need their waterproof trousers as the ground has not yet had chance to dry out, but the thick winter coats have been replaced with fleeces. Our walk begins like countless others in the past few months, along the path that is still lined with brown, still muddy underfoot. It could still be February by the looks of it. And yet.
And yet as we walk further into the forest, the signs of new life become impossible to ignore. New shoots, new leaves, everywhere is looking a little greener. The sun chooses this moment to make it’s appearance and we shed our outer layers as we eat our picnic in its warmth. Talk turns to summer adventures and we spend our time spotting bees and butterflies as we rest and refuel. There’s still mud to navigate but the girls giggle as they help each other through it.
We turn from the main path and are instantly rewarded with a blanket of green. In just a few short weeks bluebells will cover the entire woodland floor, in fact a few are already breaking through, but for now the green is colour enough after a winter of grey and brown. We walk along a stream and amongst the trees, Lyra becoming our unofficial tour guide. She points out every bluebell that she sees and I make a mental note to do this same walk again at the end of the month.
The walk back to the car becomes a mini beast hunt and a bird spotting adventure. Our progress is slow as no one is quite ready to leave this Spring bubble. The girls walk together the whole way and as I watch Lyra show Athena every plant and bug I wonder what it must be like to be just 22 months old. Does she even remember the warmth, the colour from last year? I’m excited to show it all to her this summer though, all of the colour and the nature that we can get our hands on.