I went for a walk today. I hadn't planned on going for a walk, but really, sometimes when you have toddlers, the only way to stop turning into a twitchy-eyed crazy person is to get out of the house.
I was in a horrid mood when I set off, I was having a dark, can't be bothered, want to hide kind of day. I didn't want to be around people, the timing was all wrong, and we would be hitting the local High School lunch time (trust me, that's to be avoided).
I stomped off, with my angry 'don't dare talk to me!' walk. I was angry when I reached the underpass, I was peeved when I crossed the footbridge, I was defensive when I passed by the grocery store.
And then I got down by the river, and I got calmer. I walked a bit further than usual, and would have gone further still, but nettles were encroaching on the path, and the twins didn't have socks on.
I found a bench, in a quiet, shady spot, and I sat, watching the twins, listening to the rustle of the trees. I sat with my back to the river, but aware of it's energy, it's constancy, it's flow. I sat, and was, and prayed, and felt peace.
Then we started heading home, and returned to the busier, more open main path. I sat again, to have a different few of the river, and kill some time while I waited to avoid a gaggle of teens on lunch-break. I met a woman from the parish we used to attend, who was out walking and fairy-hunting with her 4 year old daughter.
We chatted, we walked, we laughed. The little girl was sweet, funny, precocious, and totally engaging. The mother sensible, pleasant, and funny. I really hope I meet them again when I'm out for a walk.
The afternoon didn't start as I planned, or as I wanted, but by the time we got home, I'd never been so glad that it didn't.