Field Maple, arms laden with crowds of winged seeds, waiting in clusters like a fleet of butterflies, unfurled and flushing to pink, readying for Autumn winds.

Most of my meanders (or marches, depending on the purposes) through the field are often at the very beginning of the day, or just as the last of the light dips below the crown of oak and hornbeam that lies to the west.

We’ve lived on the edge of this dear field for almost 18 years and I’ve come to know her every curve and dip as she makes her way down towards a lake at the bottom.  It’s not our lake, but we et to se this huge mirror reflect every mood of each season, and we’ve become an enthralled audience to the wild and feathered theatre it stages. With regulars, interlopers, and random strangers, it plays out like a version of some b grade, small town Netflix series… dramatic cliffhangers included.

This evening it’s the turn of the laughing ducks and the rippled echo-call of the coot. As Autumn takes hold and the trees become gilded with petticoats loosening, the Greylag gees will return, which usually enriches  the plot somewhat… many mutterings and much griping over mooring lines and mates usually ensues. But for now, the current cast seem content with the slowing pace, with families raised and predators less pressing, it’s easy to imagine that they’re now in need of a little downtime as they recover from what was undoubtedly a stressful Summer of child rearing.

I’m making my way back home now, in need of warmth and tea.

Yesterday our youngest headed back to school for his new year and with our eldest now at uni and our midgets preparing for a year of adventures beyond our waters, I know how that coot feels. Pretty exhausted would be the first wave of emotion.

They’re growing up and out from this nest, and I’m excited for them all. But I also I feel flooded with many conflicting and unexpected emotions. I’m not a very  ‘cool’ mum. I worry a lot, I hug a lot.