It was the most perfect Sunday. The sunlight cut through the cold air making the world shiver and shine, and colours that have hibernated all winter long came out to gleam and banish the memory of grey.
All along the canal side lambs-tails bobbed in the breeze and little clusters of snow-drops nodded their heads wisely at grass. Pale golden rushes whispered against a startling blue sky and beside them the canal wound its way through the countryside, deep and dark and grey.
And amongst it all a little boy in a bright orange life jacket ran and splashed and played. Oblivious to the cold in the foot that he dipped accidentally in the water but wide awake to the excitement of the day and fully alive to the energy in the air.
I chased him down the tow path. I hovered anxiously beside him as he examined the reeds at the water's edge. I watched him eat his picnic lunch with serious concentration. I helped him to scramble up and down the length of the boat and dip his little paddle in the water. I watched with an ache of joy as he paddled towards me with Daddy.
And I don't know what it was, but something about the beauty of those golden reeds, the glory of the sun, the hopefulness in the air and the happiness of my family left me quite overcome with joy.