I left the house, once again, without knowing where exactly I'd go.
I drove, as I so often do, towards the supermarket, with just a desperate need to escape the house, and it wasn't until we'd passed the garden centre and swung around the roundabout that a plan formed in my mind.
And even when we'd reached the country park, and navigated our way through the trials of the public toilets, I was still unsure of my plan, and still uncertain as to whether this unexplored place would have the power to lift my spirits or distract my boy and me throughout the long hours of another empty afternoon.
But slowly, slowly, as we wound our way out of the information area and began to explore the world in which we found ourselves, the beauty of the park made me forget my concerns and the thrill of discovery brought a smile and a skip to my heart.
We stopped to greet the animals, we meandered through the cool shade of the wood, we felt ourselves dwarfed by the awesome symmetry of the viaduct, we marvelled at the minute beauty of a buttercup, we gazed across meadows dancing with flowers, we sighed at the picturesque sight of the dovecote, we laughed at the improbable sight of llamas, we walked quietly together in the beauty of a brand new world, and when the path ducked down under the trees, we found ourselves standing on the shores of a wide, cool river, that bubbled peacefully beneath the arches of the viaduct and invited us to rest a while and play.
And so for a long while, I sat on the shore of the river, smelling the cool mud of the riverbed, listening to the water whispering its secrets to the stones, and watching my little boy gather pebbles in his fists and drop them seriously into the water.
I drank in the deep silence of the place and watched its peace settle on John's soul. And there by that river, whilst the sun slumbered quietly beneath a thin summer quilt of cloud, I felt days of deep darkness disperse and the peace that I'd been seeking so desperately find me and fill me at last.