After weeks of frantic preparation, followed by the excitement of Christmas Day itself, I find it is Boxing Day I am most inclined to enjoy. Sated with turkey and chocolates, foggy from lack of sleep and relieved that I’ve pulled it off for another year, I fall happily into a day where nothing more is expected of me.
We set out for a walk, the cool, bracing air a perfect antidote for the lethargy that settles in on the heels of the holiday. This bright, chilly morning, we head to the Serpentine Fen with Meeghan, her small dog body aquiver with excitement at the scents and sounds that greet us. Overnight, the world has been transformed by frost. A white, icy mantle coats every surface, reflecting back prisms of light picked out by the winter sun. I stop often to examine the crystal drops suspended from every branch, and try vainly to capture their beauty with my camera.
High in a tree, we spot an eagle, quietly swiveling his head about in search of prey. Around us, the marshland teems with wildlife. Herons stake out their territory, and waterfowl lazily mingle on strips of deep water the frost did not touch. This is their sanctuary, and we give the birds a wide berth, aware that as considerate visitors, we must be on our best behaviour.
It is a restful outing. I am soothed by the simplicity of the day, rejuvenated by the cold wind that chases the last vestiges of the year’s worries from my head. I find myself looking ahead. There is promise in the air, and I am ready to let go of the old, to make room for whatever adventure awaits me…