One of the things I love most about spending our summers here in the US is being able to watch my children enjoy the same special places I enjoyed as a child, places where they can roam free and let their imaginations run wild. For six weeks every year my little city mice get the chance to enjoy the contrast of country life, and every year they return to London with a greater appreciation for nature and a confidence that comes from the independence they’ve enjoyed all summer long.
This year, of course, we won’t be returning to London, so these experiences are just the beginning of a year-long adventure for our family. But being here in this familiar place offers a comfortable starting point for our family to adjust to this slower pace and prepare for the coming year.
The Padilla Bay trail is just around the corner from the farm where I grew up. We used to go on family bike rides here in this pretty spot when I was little, and I used to jog here as a teenager preparing for the cross-country team in high school. There is something about watching my kids on this trail that takes me back to my own childhood and blurs the line between past and present. Walking behind them as they ride along with my dad, watching them as they stop in the same places to pick berries or throw stones into the water, I am reminded of my past and I feel grateful for the familiarity a simple walk can provide.