My husband and I went for a walk on Sunday. Freshly homemade ice-cream cones in hand, melting so fast in the sun it was dribbling down our chins. We headed for the common to stroll down to the pond. We haven’t been to our little hidden oasis yet this year with the hustle and bustle of everything. When we stepped through the undercover of the trees it was just as magical as ever.
The lily pads were open and sparkling in the sun, the baby ducks were paddling around being a bit brave as they explored the pond with their Mama not far behind. It is a very “Wind in the Willows” cove. Kenneth Grahame lived in Buckinghamshire and wrote about Ratty, Badger, Mole and most unforgettably, Toad. All living along the banks of the Thames. I know that this little place is one they would have visited on an adventure, “simply messing about in boats”, or at least enjoying a lovely summer picnic prepared by Ratty.
We stopped to watch the Mama ducks chatter to each other and after finishing our cones we headed back down to a main path. After walking only a few short steps I paused, the ground was crawling underneath me. I bent down to look around and the forest floor was covered with baby toads. They were everywhere, some heading to the pond, some crossing over the path into the woods. They were amazing to watch. Another couple was heading toward us, they looked at us crouching down over the earth like we were crazy and just kept walking. Here they were, walking down a sunlight-dappled wooded path on a dreamlike summer day and they didn’t even stop to take in what was around them.
Life is always hectic, but I endeavour to make sure I take time to breathe; we should all try to do that. Here was a little miracle happening right in front of us, all these minute baby toads making there way out into the world, hopping along on instinct. Will I ever see something like that again? I don’t know, but I do know if I didn’t stop to breathe I would have walked right on down the path just like the couple that passed us. Taking detours every now and then when they present themselves are well worth it.