A few weeks ago, I had a visit from an old school friend. We had previously agreed to meet up for a coffee but what with the Pandemic and Take Away only, we decided the best idea would be to go for a walk and grab a coffee somewhere along the way.

Before our last meeting she hinted that as it had been years since we’d seen each other we might not have much to talk about. I swept this notion aside as I was in manic mode and we’d met in town and coffee turned into a long lunch, with a lot of laughter remembering things that happened when we were young and catching up with news of friends.

What to do this time? A walk in the park seemed the only option if the dry weather continued. So, I suggested this, and she said that sounded great. The nearby park is more of a wood, with really high, old trees. We ran our hands over the bark and marvelled at the gnarled protruding roots. At the entrance is a vast sway of wild garlic not yet in bloom but smelling very strong. “I’ve got nothing like this, you’re so lucky.” We came to the waterfall and stopped to watch it for a few minutes, it really was like a magical scene that nature was playing out before us. Breathing in the pure, fresh air I felt it a tonic for the brain.

Tearing ourselves away we wandered along a path to the sound of a loud drilling noise. “You know I think that is actually a woodpecker in one of the trees above!” We craned our necks and sheltered our eyes from the sun. A small group of dog walkers formed, and we had a friendly chat. After a while, the sound stopped and flapping of wings above confirmed it had been a woodpecker.

“That was so peaceful, I feel completely relaxed and energised at the same time if that’s possible.” My friend said, echoing my feelings. How important nature is – any anxiety had vanished. We bought coffees and cakes and I had one last surprise. The Community Garden round the corner has recently reopened so we sat there for a few minutes among the Spring flowers and guessed what had been planted to sprout in the Summer months to come before we had to return home.

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