What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

This poem has been in my head for weeks. Because despite sleepless nights and more than a few frustrating hours of trying to calm a crying baby, there have been many more moments of leisure. Of walking to every green patch anywhere near our home, several times over. Of walking simply for the sake of walking. Not running to get some exercise. Not subconsciously calculating how much time will be lost. Just walking.

And the benefits are full of the simple things in life: Watching the neighbourhood slowly turn leafy and green as winter gives way to spring; recognizing the song of a cuckoo nearby; taking in the scent of lilacs and ramsons through woody walks; spotting a woodpecker busying away. Oh, and lying on freshly mown grass.
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