As I sit on the bank of the river, savouring the sunshine and delighting in the deliciously warm Spring breeze that tickles my skin and dances with my hair, I let myself breathe.
Watching the gentle flow of the river and the City Cats and ferries that busily cross it, I smile.
I sit with my family, our picnic blanket marking our patch of green. A summer salad, some bread rolls – a simple dinner.
Baby Smiley is getting up to mischief preferring to munch on leaves rather than her dinner. We watch her in adoration as she marvels over a single blade of grass that she twists and turns in her clumsy fingers. ‘Bub, bub, bub,’ she babbles happily.
Meanwhile, Curly-locks finds it difficult to contain her excitement leaping up from the picnic blanket every time she sees a boat approaching.
‘Quickly, quickly, Mummy, Daddy, quickly, see a boat,’ she cries out in her sing song voice.
When I tell her that the little boat sailing past with a light at the top of its short mast is in fact Iggle Piggle’s boat, her eyes open in wonder. She is, for the first time all afternoon, speechless.
I share a smile with Dave. No words are needed. We are blessed.
With dusk upon us, we start to pack up.
‘It’s midnight, Mummy,’ Curly-locks announces.
‘It’s midnight. We need to hurry.
‘It’s midnight. It’s midnight,’ she continues to chant all the way to the car.
As I buckle her into her car seat she asks me what midnight means.
I laugh realising it’s been a while since I’ve felt this happy.
This break to routine was just what I, we, needed. I marvel at how the littlest of outings could have such a big impact.
The stress of the last few weeks threatened to crumble us all last week, but this break, this long weekend, has given us all the breather we needed.
Our troubles haven’t gone away, our problems are not solved, but we’ve had a chance to give ourselves a rest. To be kind to ourselves, to slow down, to simplify, to breathe.
Have you had a chance to just breathe and slow down lately?