It has become a tradition in our family, and seemingly in families all over the English countryside, to take a good long walk outside on the weekend. Saturdays are busy for us, with football (soccer to my fellow Americans) practice, riding events, getting homework out of the way, and doing errands. But Sundays always consist of a leisurely and often quite social lunch, and then an ambitious walk in the fresh air, no matter the weather. At first my kids resisted going out for a long haul, just when they thought they had earned a lazy afternoon, but now they have surrendered to not having a choice, and also to the knowledge that they love it as much as we do. They also love the enthusiasm of Ginger, for whom the walk is the highlight of her week. She gets long walks with me nearly every day, but to have the whole family out together doing what she loves most, sends her into a frenzy of excitement, swirling around the yard and jumping so high that all four feet leave the ground.
The combination of the wind on my cheeks, the exertion of my body, the company of family and friends, and the chance to get into a casual chat or a meaningful conversation without the distraction of daily life, all make our Sunday walk one of my very favorite things about our life in the country.