As we went outside a chorus of birds sang as if they were greeting us or maybe even to welcome the joy that had just walked outside, we the audience. As she held my hand she would gasp at the beautiful sounds that we were hearing, birds surrounding us in chorus and we were filled with awe as the melody filled the clear winter air. The rain had fell heavy all day until the afternoon and it had not long passed and it was now bright and the air was crisp.
She would point out the beautiful flowers in the gardens as we walked by impressed by absolutely everything. She would look up at me with her big blue eyes and they would sparkle with delight and simultaneously her jaw would drop open and you would hear a little gasp at the beauty, like she was saying to me “how did we get so lucky” and of course her eyes got bigger with a girlie flutter of her eyelashes as an extra emphasis on the magic that surrounded us, her little hand would stretch out and gesture that it was everywhere.
We switched between strolling and running, in my case a quick shuffle beside her and when she ran so fast she would shreek with the thrill as she was running as fast as her little legs would take her followed by a hearty chuckle from the rush it gave her and then at the height of her excitement as she held my hand she would laugh so loud and press her face into my hand and it looked like she was about to take off and fly, then she changed the pace back to a stroll to admire everything again.
Distracted by the grass growing out of the cracks she would sometimes just sit down on the pavement, anything that was not concrete was wondrously inspected including a heap of wet sand she had to jump on and wonder for a while after as to why her shoes were dirty until she had the urge to run at top speed again and intermittently stopped to run her hand along the fences and hedges surrounding the gardens along the way, taking everything in.
With the occasional swing up into the air, run, sit, ohhhhhh, awwwwwwww, shreek, chuckle, giggle and laugh we made it to the big field now free to let go of my hand and run free. And she ran and ran - that sense of freedom and curiosity all at once, an explosion of delight. The leaves at her feet, the wet grass, the trees, the birds still singing, the crisp air and with her rosy cheeks she ran around in circles laughing and occasionally would turn and look at me to be sure I saw it all too! Not once did she stop to think what to do next she just kept going constantly discovering more to enjoy.
What she loved most were the crunchy leaves, she found a big patch of them around the trees and she ran around swinging her hands in the air and discovered mounds of them blown up against an old stone wall and decided to run up and down, up and down then back to the trees to run around when she was tired of straight lines, singing in delight, constantly kicking the leaves up in the air listening to them crunch and watch them blow around. When she fell she laughed hysterically followed by “oh no” and would repeat the fall just for fun, then followed by a roll around in the leaves and made sure I was watching her performance!
She pitied the mucky patches with no grass and found where the grass was plenty and would take fist fulls and bring it to the empty muddy patches to restore that patch to its green glory. Before we left she had to go talk to all the trees. She went and patted the trunk said what she had to say followed by a shreek of “more” and ran to the next tree and repeated the same routine. She selected the two leaves she felt worthy of sharing with her mother to bring back with us and made sure they also enjoyed the run home.
Every ten seconds was different with her she ran, she walked, she twirled, she jumped, she sat, she laughed, chuckled, sang, shrilled with joy, she fell and got back up undeterred by the minor hiccup which actually added to her fun! It was never ending. A continuous adventure that did not end once we reached home…….