Wednesday 8 April 2020

Above the River

Now that we are on our Easter break, all home schooling has been pushed to one side for the time being and along with it so has any semblance of structure we had to our days. With no real sense of purpose our mornings have turned into very lazy affairs. Usually busy, I'm finding this slower pace of life is taking quite a bit of getting used to and this last week I have been undeniably feeling the effects from a lack of daily routine.
It's not surprising, therefore, that the one thing I am so very grateful for during this time is my daily exercise. I feel so blessed that each afternoon I am able to leave the house to take a walk in the local area. Such a treasured part of the day where, for a short while at least, everything is as it should be, nature is doing what she does best, and I am reassured by the sights of springtime all around us. There are several walks which we can access easily from home. One of my favourite routes at this time takes us up the hill, through the village and along the lane, finally crossing a bridge before dropping down towards the river.

Here beneath the trees lies an abundance of wild garlic. Usually, I walk straight through along the main path but on Monday I took a slight detour, up a small track which led me to some fresh, new green shoots. I didn't  hang around long, just enough to grab a few handfuls which I carefully tucked  away in my bag, with plans to turn them into a delicious pesto later in the day.

The track skirts along the edge of the fields, above the river, the once muddy footpath, now hard, cracked and dusty following the recent dry, sunny weather. Lambs are scattered about the fields, some old enough to wander independently now. They are curious ,but soon scatter as we approach. There are younger ones in the field on the opposite bank, and many more still to be born.

We take another brief pause, closer to the water. Just long enough to rest our legs and catch our breath, before the path leads us away from the river, through fields and along the lane, to return home once again.

Following a quick rinse, the wild garlic leaves are blended with olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan and pine nuts to create this delightfully green paste, which tastes delicious stirred into fresh cooked pasta.
Although, at the moment, we are repeating the same walks over and over, I'm finding great comfort in that.  The constancy and familiarity  is reassuring in what are very uncertain times, and the opportunity to experience the beautiful countryside right here on my doorstep will never again be overlooked.  
J. X