I’m in the Shire right now, taking a few days off from social live at town and concentrating on self-love and self-care a bit. During the first two days Scoundrel was here, too, and even though we’ve been together for almost five years now I’d never shown him my favourite places around here. Shame, and so we set out on a long walk up the hill under the best weather we could wish for.
Scoundrel had never seen tree marbles before, but the robin’s pincushion galls on the next rose bush he already knew. I picked a few off the tree, there were enough left to be home to other insects still.
As we wandered onwards we decided to go and explore a labyrinth of trees and marshland I hadn’t been in to for fifteen years myself. It’s a beautifully magical place, with small brooks and trickles everywhere and no other footprints than those of wild pigs and maybe a deer or fox.
When we emerged from the spinney we stumbled upon a tree house – more like an assembly of platforms, but great nevertheless – in what used to be my favourite witch tree. My mother used to cut osier stakes here to make dream catchers and I came here when I felt troubled, seeking comfort between her branches. It’s a good use for this tree, though, this shelter. Scoundrel climbed up to the highest platform on the main tree instantaneously and basked in the sunlight on the warm wood.
Onward we went, up the hill, where the bonfire place for the solstice festivities lies.
Fungi on a charred piece of wood were a new sight for me altogether. The discoloration must come from a change of nutrients in the wood, and I was utterly fascinated.
While Scoundrel played and chatted with the wind that rose as soon as we had reached the knoll – it was so warm on the way up that we didn’t need our pullovers and anoraks anymore, and Scoundrel even went bare-chested for a bit of the way – I went into the pines and lay down on a bed of needles and moss, with a beautiful canopy of treetops and chasing clouds.
We made our way back around the hill through the heather and the woods, resting on dry, sun-warm last winter’s grass in between, looking down into the glen.
I love the sandy paths through the heather. We had so much luck with the weather, the next day was cloudy and wet, and we’d seized the only warm and bright day so well.
The deer on the fields behind my mother’s house were our bookends for the walk, there on the way up as well as the way down. I’m so lucky having a place to rest here, and I was lucky that, when I asked on a whim if he’s like to come with, Scoundrel said yes.
Next time we’ll explore further east into the woods!