Ah, the British summer time. All year long we yearn to feel sunlight on our skin; feel its warmth, see how the world around us suddenly becomes three dimensional and bursts with colour and life… And then we get it, the (so far 3) weeks of glorious sunlight, hardly a cloud to be seen. Of course, by the second day of this long craved warmth the air is filled with complaints of how it is too hot, how we need rain… Sigh, we are never happy.
But I can’t allow myself to complain. I love the heat – I just wish we could have a little patch of “break-us-in” weather to get us used to not being in jumpers.
Ordinarily, when the weather gets a little too warm, we head to a shady woodland or water. I love to be near water. This year though our little patch of sunny weather has been spent stuck at home as our car is in desperate need of some critical car surgery. A hosepipe has been our babbling brook and a paddling pool our ocean.
I am craving water like air. The feeling when you have walked through the woods and arrived at a stream; when you sit beside the running water, fling off you shoes and slowly sink your hot and tired feet into the crystal clear depths. Feels even better with your eyes closed.
I am missing the gentle lull of the ocean waves lapping onto a beach where the sand is so hot you could fry an egg on it.
The children seem quite content to strip off and play in the paddling pool, but I must confess to feeling a little bit stir-crazy.
Only two weeks ago, before the weather truly hit these high temperatures we were hunting for tadpoles. The lake is about as tempting as it can get – the water as clear as ice, the trees surrounding it giving perfect shore shade.
The trouble with it is the leeches. So feet firmly on the ground we cautiously got as close as we dared to the little clouds of tadpoles (clouds being the official collective noun for Tadpoles by the way!).
Although we have taken a little break in the Home Ed, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to learn while we played. Toby was right in there and within moments had caught a couple in his hand, but poor Emily was getting ever so sad she couldn’t catch one. Big brother to the rescue and hey presto, a tadpole was caught for a brief moment before being placed gently back in the water.
I’m always a little unsure of holding them in my hand… I don’t have the slightest fear of them, but the wriggling certainly doesn’t quite sit right. So I made a firm point to not let my lack of comfort pass any wariness onto Emily. Inherited phobias are not a good thing!
I needn’t have worried, she had no issue at all.
If only I would have known we would be unable to visit that perfectly serene pool now I would have treasured it that little bit more.
Sadly the local park does not hold the same appeal, with the swarms of people littering the grass, those who forgot to buy deodorant being the ones who decide to strike up friendly conversation, always that little bit too close.
Oh how I miss those quiet little spots beside the river, watching the up-tailed ducks a-dabbling. The water is calling and if my poorly car is not fixed and up to the journey soon I may be forced to to learn how to fly.
It is a remarkable thing water. Something we take so much for granted, yet something which gives life but can so easily take it away. It can be so soothing, nurturing and comforting. The way so many women use it during birth for its effects.
People of all religions flock to it on a pilgrimage for healing and enlightenment.
Not too very far from where we live is the well of St. Winifred in Holywell. St, Winifred was the daughter of nobility who’s suitor Caradoc, enraged by her longing to join the church, decapitated her with his sword. Where her head fell a spring appeared. Winifred’s body was reunited with her head and she lived once more. Caradoc did not fare so well and his body fell lifeless to the ground.
The well is there still for visitors to visit and bathe in as the water is rumoured to contain healing properties.
Or the waters in Glastonbury, the Isle of Avalon, with their rich iron flavour.
The is no wonder about the mysticism of water. It is our very life blood. In particular in this heat, this short and brief spell that is our Summer.
But please let me beg a favour before I go? If you happen to be near any water, I ask you to say hello to it for me, as it is very sorely missed!