Whenever we went out for a walk with our children when they were young I would forever be pointing things out,’ooh look, there’s some cow parsley, oooh, smell the lovely may, look at the lovely lichen, gosh, I spy some sloes!‘ They actually weren’t very interested and as they got older would tease me in a gentle affectionate way, amused by my enthusiasm.
Now they are grown up and don’t come on walks with us any more, living away from home now, I still notice things and remark on them to my husband, and I remember being with my children. Another memory always comes in too, a memory of my own childhood on country walks with my family, my parents, or aunties and uncles, and they would point things out to me and my sister. That was more years ago than I care to remember, and the countryside was very different; there were far fewer cars so wandering along country lanes was not as dangerous, there was more land which was uncultivated, more postures and meadows untreated by chemicals, more rivers unpolluted by fertilizers which feed the weeds and algae and kill the fish and wild life. There were more wild flowers, wild birds, insects, butterflies… it was a different world – of course, I am remembering all this with my rose-tinted spectacles firmly in place!
I wonder if when my children are older, and they have children, if when they take them out for walks they too will point out things, which they learned from me? Even when I’m not with them, will they sense me telling them about the cow parsley?