Simplicity

Life in our home has become simpler, pared back to basics.   All the things I cheerfully filled every day with – the volunteering; the classes and choir; the must-get-to-the-shops; the to-do list; even seeing friends – have all vanished.  Astonishingly, I don’t mind. The one thing that is a constant now is Daily Exercise, as prescribed by the Government: ‘People can leave their homes for exercise once a day’.  For Malcolm, it’s a bike ride.  For me, it’s a walk.

Denied trips out to the Dales and wild places, I’m exploring our home patch anew- every ginnel, every bridle way, every woodland and farmland path.  My Daily Exercise sometimes lasts an hour, more often two or three.  I rarely meet a soul.  It’s just me, the ground beneath my feet, the sights I observe, the landscape, the cloudscape, the satisfying rhythm of my feet as I pound my chosen path for the day.  Every day I choose a slightly different route.  Every day things change a little.  Buds, once tightly furled are now tender young leaves: new flowers burst into bloom; lambs grow stockier, more playful.  I have time to notice these things.

I value these hours.  Like everyone else, I want this horrible crisis under control.  I want to meet my family and friends again.  But when that time comes, I want to continue savouring quiet moments like the ones I’ve enjoyed so much over the last few weeks.

For me, these are early April’s Top Flowers, and my walks have given me the chance to enjoy them.  What have I left out?  Wild garlic isn’t flowering yet round here, nor the hedgerow plants.

This dramatic cloudscape evolved over the course of my walk, holding my attention.
A simple view through trees at the fields beyond.
Back in the village, a greylag goose guarded the village pond, hissing at me as I paused to admire narcissi, a magnolia, and beyond these, early cherry blossom.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #91: Simplicity

Square Tops #7

43 thoughts on “Simplicity”

  1. I agree with Susan, that’s a sky of the gods. You do live in a beautiful part of of the country and with all those familiar spring flowers to cheer everybody. Enjoy your walk today, looks like the weather will be lovely.

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  2. Beautifully said, and shown, Margaret! Love the magnolia 🙂 🙂 I am doing much the same, but I always have Michael in tow. Steering me round the puddles and past the stray obstacles, or just sighing impatiently. I sometimes wish he had a bike 🙂 🙂

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      1. He used to bike, till he met me. I’m hopeless! He always said he’d get a bike here so he could nip to the bakery every morning. Perhaps a good thing he hasn’t. The knees won’t stand it, nor the waistline with daily cake 🙂 🙂

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  3. I haven’t as much countryside on our doorstep as you have Margaret, being 8 miles outside Nottingham, but I only have to walk 100 yards before I’m in fields and woods, and I have the river Erewash within 1/4 mile. I go for a walk every day and the big difference now is the much reduced background noise of aircraft/M1 traffic/industrial noise etc. The birds love it, and so do I!

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  4. Beautiful images. Aren’t we lucky it’s spring during this crisis! Your government tells you how often you can go outside? We aren’t at that point yet but we probably should be. Of course, you have it figured out by staying out for 2 or 3 hours! 🙂 I take a daily walk but it’s more like 40minutes. I’m not missing all the stuff I used to do either.

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    1. I think to be fair Dawn, it’s more for the benefit of people in towns. It’s hard for them to find places to exercise where they can maintain Social Distance, and if everyone went out several times….. Here in the village, I don’t think anyone would know or care if I went out six times.

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  5. with those riches you won’t miss out on much, dear Margaret. We called the wood anemones ‘Guggublüemli’, in proper German Kuckuck’s flowers and if I remember correctly, my parent’s explanation for this strange name was that they were blooming when the cuckoos are back in the woods. – Thank you for sharing your riches – the last photo is especially sweet.

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  6. Very similar to here, though the only pond is the dew pond in the farmer’s field. I often hear geese, but rarely see them. And I am not going to try and get any closer when there are cattle in the fields! Your pond and magnolia tree are gorgeous. Do you also have a village shop?

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    1. Sadly, no shop, and no longer a pub either. Though there is a primary school and a church. But the next village is only a mile and a half away, and has both shop and pub (with a garden by the river), so all is not lost.

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  7. Gorgeous post, Margaret and a beautiful description of rediscovering simple joys. I’m drawn to the dramatic landscape shot. Beautiful.

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  8. Isn’t it wonderful to see your own landscape and surroundings with a bit of new eyes? Horrible and fearful times, but living near the countryside we are the lucky ones. A beautiful post (- our magnolias are not there yet though… )You describe the joy, the sadness and all feelings so well. Thank you for a thoughtful post.

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