Isn't it funny how some words ease into our language without us even really noticing? I was thinking this morning about the word "Constitutional" which J introduced me to many, many years ago. I doubt I even knew exactly what it meant back then, but nevertheless I got the jist of it and over the years it has become a familiar word in our family. I looked it up in an online dictionary just now, and in this context it means "beneficial to one's general physical wellbeing eg. a regular walk taken for the benefit of one's health". Did you know that?
Taking a short, feel-good walk is something we do quite often, most especially at weekends or during the holidays. You know the feeling when it suddenly seems Very Necessary to scoop up the moany, lethargic Little People and deposit them in the great outdoors to blow away the cobwebs and let off steam? I always think of it as being primarily good for the spirit, but obviously there are physical benefits from stretching one's legs and breathing in lungfuls of country air.
We've started the long six week summer holidays here, and oh-my-word, it does feel good to ease up on routine and relax at home. The weather so far has been dull, grey and muggy, but at least it has been warm and (mostly) dry. We've made the decision to try and venture out most days for a short walk somewhere if we can, so on Sunday we decided to go for the early morning approach and set out not long after 8am. It was grey and overcast, with very still air that felt heavy somehow, but the calm waters of the reservoir were serene and peaceful.
We sat a while on a bench and played a frustrating game of I-spy (Little B chose something beginning with 'M' which after much failed guessing turned out to be M for Milky Way. Difficult child).
We pottered about on the sandy beach and collected some small fragments of pottery to add to our collection.
We walked and talked.....
.....took in the greenery of the scenery.....
.....and examined flowers and beetles and a very hairy caterpillar. It was a very pleasant way to start the day I have to say.
Yesterday, we took our constitutional in the evening after dinner and set out on foot to walk up the hill.....
....and into the cool, shady green of the woodland.
We had some rain yesterday which made the air smell amazing, all earthy and leafy, damp and fresh.
I'm always bowled over by the intense shades of green of the summer woodland....
....and being out in the evening meant that soft sunlight shafted in low through the trees as we walked.
It was muddy and damp, shady and cool, but really rather lovely to be out amongst it all.
We walked back home feeling very relaxed....
....and I thought to myself that there is a lot to be said for strolling about for the benefit of one's health. We should do it more often.