I’m sitting looking at yet another little blue progress bar, desperately hoping that this time the settings are correct and my new website will magically appear in my browser.  Blast.  No!  Here we go in another little head twisting IT circle.  Writing a blog I can manage, but this website building lark is a steep learning curve.  Intense mental effort is punctuated by lengthy waits, while I wait for support from people in California who are currently asleep.

  Above my head the rain beats a tattoo on the office skylight.  My mind drifts to an article that I read this morning about Britain’s rainforests and the urgent need for re-wilding.  I have a sudden longing to be out in the deluge among the dripping leaves and streaming green trunks.  I need to escape this unforgiving screen and impenetrable IT jargon.  

It’s a while since I’ve been for a walk.  This time last year I struggled to make it round the village circuit without needing a lie down afterwards.  However, with lots of support and encouragement I’ve gradually rebuilt myself to the point at which I can now reach our local bluebell wood.  More importantly, I can tackle the rather unforgiving hill that leads home.  A scare over palpitations and a sudden crazy heart rate in the summer, when I rather overdid things, set me back a bit, but its time to brave the elements and the fear and stretch my legs.  I grab my camera and boots and miraculously, as I leave the house, the sun comes out.  

The garden hedge is a mass of silver droplets, which shiver to the ground as I pass, soaking my sleeve.  It should have been cut by now, but I’m glad it is still in its ferny, frondy softness.  Each branch carries a delicate spider’s web, silver beaded and exquisite.  A robin sings from a holly tree, its breast strikingly orange against the deep red berries.  I stop to listen, drinking in the damp greenness of the September air.  

Beyond the red ironstone fields of my home I reach a steep little valley, untouched by the plough and rich with fragrant nettles, gorse, heather and the crispy brown spires of foxglove and dock seed heads.  Golden backed tree bumble bees buzz through the white deadnettle flowers and I stop to examine a tiny hole in the bank below them, framed by delicate leaves.  It’s a vole hole and I’m taken back to childhood stories of the Wind in the Willows, The Borrowers and Brambly Hedge, wondering if the perfectly round entrance leads to a tiny room full of vole furniture and shelves of hazelnuts and blackberries.

My feet squelch on turf that usually echoes in hollow dryness to my tread.  We have had two hot dry summers with only the occasional downpour, which pours over the hard, dry surface to the ditches below.  Several days of steady rain is rehydrating our landscape and I can almost hear the sigh of relief as the plants drink deep.

At the bottom of the slope I climb the stile into our midlands mini-rainforest of oak, ash, beech and birch.  The head-high bracken has bowed under the weight of the rain, lying heavily across a lattice of brambles, which snake across the path, reaching for my feet and snagging my jeans.  Somewhere under this living, growing thatch, I know there are eyes watching me; foxes, muntjacs, maybe a roe deer or two, but they could be within touching distance and I would never spot them.  I lean against the great bole of an ash tree, silently watching this wild wood; the shiver of ferns under the dripping canopy of leaves, the flash of a tiny wing, the shift of light as the last remaining clouds scud across the sun.  'Glory be to God For dappled things … '  The tension of the morning has lifted and the world is a wonderful place again.

Do you have somewhere beautiful near your home where you can sit and be?  You don't need to be able to walk far, or to live in the country.  Maybe a friend could drive you to a local town or country park, or to a woodland where the car parks are among trees. Maybe there this a tree at the bottom of your garden waiting for you to notice it?

'Glory be to God for dappled things' is from a poem called Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins.