Dear Readers, on our last day in Broadway before Aunt H’s memorial service we took what could be a last walk up to the remnant of ancient bluebell wood that stands on a hill just behind the village. Last time I was there it was bluebell season, and it was full of native bluebells.
It is still a magical place though – you enter through a little overgrown path, and you have to bow your head to get in, which seems somehow appropriate once you’re amongst the huge oak trees.
There is a path around the inside of the wood, but in many places you have to limbo under branches or tiptoe over fallen logs. In contrast to the woods of North London, this one is not very frequently visited, and so it retains its wildness.
Here and there, massive trees have fallen, or have died but continue to stand. Dead wood is so important for all kinds of animals and fungi, and there is only one small den right at the entrance to the wood, rather than the dozens that appear in my local woods.
And everywhere the hoverflies are dancing in shafts of sunlight, and the trees are creaking in the wind. Visiting it for this last time feels sad, but also calming, in view of the formal goings on tomorrow. I can take a piece of the wood with me in my heart, to calm me in the weeks ahead.