Our town borders a large and beautiful reserve. There are sections of forest, grasslands and glades. Throughout birds call each to each and wallabies and pademelons bound about. We walk three minutes from the roads and there's no sign that the suburbs of a major regional centres lie two minutes drive away. I love this place.
Back before the girls, Al and I would take our dogs Jasper and Pete, and walk for hours. In summer we'd trip down to the river and all four of us would swim in isolation, never seeing another soul. Things are a little different now, and our times in the reserve are curtailed by naps and quiet times, play groups, the cold, the heat, meals around the table and any number of issues we never considered when it was just the two of us. When we do go, as we did yesterday, the times spent and the distance walked may be shorter than they once were but our enjoyment of the place has increased ten-fold. Even on hard days, our kids makes almost everything more fun.
(Air travel excepted.)