I have been really busy at work lately, staying back a few extra hours most days. Nothing major, but I haven't slept properly the last two nights and I am starting to get that familiar tightness in my stomach and the slightly fluttery feeling across my chest and arms, like you get after drinking a too-strong coffee.
On my journey home last night, I got off the tube and decided to walk home through the woods, which is a little longer, a little muddier, but loads nicer. It is also quite hilly; hence I don't feel so guilty about spending all day on my arse.
After a day spent immersed in grey with flourescent lighting, walking down the steep track into the forest feels like immersing yourself into a different world. As I walked, I bathed in the glorious Springtime brown-and-lime-green-ness, listening to the bird calls and feeling the coolness of the forest around me, inhaling the good, solid, reliable smell of earth.
I was starting the ascent up and out to my street when I came across a swing, dangling provocatively in the stillness of the forest. How it got there, I have no idea. The tree it is attached to doesn't have any branches for the first 20 feet or so. I put down my bags, hitched myself up onto the broad seat, took the white ropes into my hands and leaned back.
I felt like the girl in this painting (only less frilly), looking up at the patchwork of leaves blotting out the bright evening light, the air brushing past my face langurously. It was a lovely antidote to my hectic day.