Monday, 28 May 2012

Filling the Blanks


Last month in a sudden panic at the busyness of life, I bought myself a calendar. I took out James' diary and filled in square after square, and when it was done life felt more ordered and more full, and the blank spaces were few and far between.

There were work commitments, hospital appointments, family visits, church obligations and endless Duke of Edinburgh weekends for James, but there was little free time and even less fun time marked out for us on that grid.   

And so this weekend, after an appointment to do this:


we filled in our one blank day with this:


We woke up with the dawn in a field that smelled of wet grass, and ate warm oatcakes in the early morning sunshine. We watched John's red wellies trail a path to the play park and we felt the excitement of the heat before the day had even begun.    

Then we set our boat on the river and paddled downstream, trailing our fingers and toes in the cool water and waving at passers-by on bridges.

The sun burned our scalps and made us squint at the sparkles on the water, but our journey was as slow and calm as the river beneath us, and the beauty of the day was intoxicating.


We ate our picnic in a bright empty field, frilled at the edges with buttercups, listening to trains hooting in the distance, and watching their steam rise on the opposite side of the valley.

Then we made our way downriver to a tiny picture-postcard station, bedecked with union jacks, and bundled our sleepy but excited boy onto a steam train for the return journey up river.  

 

It was just one blank day in the midst of a busy couple of weeks, tucked in behind a suit fitting and promising nothing at all.

But the brilliance of the sunshine, the adventurous spirit of my wonderful husband and the easy happiness of our boy made it every kind of perfect.

And when I look back on this weekend, I know that it won't be the suit fitting that I remember, but the glorious sunny blank day that we seized and filled to the brim with good things.

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