Fresh air and sunshine 

Yesterday afternoon, I decided we would all go for a long walk. It wasn’t exactly a popular decision and it’s fair to say there was some moaning as we left the car and started to walk down to the beach. Usually, I would have chosen something more obviously child friendly or just asked the girls what they wanted to do, but I decided on a long walk because of my goal to have more fun and do what I like to do. I chose a walk that begins about 2 km from our house, somewhere we drive past pretty much every day which didn’t really help foster much enthusiasm as we started walking. 
As we made our way down the winding paths to the sea though, it proved to be just lovely. Our little family had a chance to talk and just connect. Some of the time Lucy held my hand, advising me to be careful of the muddy patches and Amy walked along happily chatting to her dad. At one point Lucy noticed a tui in the trees and we talked about how lucky we are that we have one that visits our garden and as we walked closer to the sea, I remembered on this first walk of spring how much I love the smell of the sea mixed with the scent of sunscreen. To me, it’s the signature scent of New Zealand. 

When we made it down to the beach we sat for a while and just looked out to the sea, until we noticed bubbles coming up out of the water. Lucy took her shoes off and waded out to investigate and Amy went off exploring and found a waterfall gushing down the side of the rocks. Meanwhile I just sat and picked through all the shells on the beach – I love the shape of the tiny ones that look like unicorn horns. As we sat, I thought about how precious it is to just be outside in the fresh air, how nice it is to feel the sunshine warming your skin and how alive it makes me feel. Walking always makes me feel better too, it is one of the self-care treatments I use when I am struggling to stay positive. 

Whether you are heading into summer or into winter, take some time to get outside. Breathe in the fresh air and pay attention to the signs of the season wherever you are. Notice the feel of the sun on your skin or the pinch of cold on your face and fingers. Try sharing the moment with others and talk about what you can see – being present in the moment makes it memorable and is a special kind of magic. 



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