Pockets Full of Treasure

You know you had a good walk when you arrive home with your pockets full of treasure but without your keys! I searched my trouser and coat pockets, pulling out twigs, lichens, a budding oak branch, leaves, and some dirt. No keys. I had my 11-month-old with me and she was making it clear she was done botanising for the day.

All I could do was retrace my steps, my (9.5kg!) tired little explorer in my arms. I searched the long grass and fallen leaves for about 20 minutes, resisting the urge to panic, before I found my keys in a patch of wet grass.

I’m sure my husband and sister will have something to say about this story as both have told me not to dangle my keys from the back pocket of my trousers. Lesson learnt? Perhaps. It was worth it though. I just love watching my girls explore the natural world with so much curiosity. We looked at horses and sheep grazing in nearby fields. The wintery shrubs and trees were a delight with so many different colours and textures. The hedgerows were filled with birdsong and we saw goldfinches, hooded crows, robins, bullfinches, magpies, robins, and wrens… a good walk indeed.

Pebbles, Greystones, Co. Dublin.
Not all treasures are kept, some exist only in the moment and in memory.

I won’t lie to you. I’m looking forward to spring. I’m excited about the buds on the trees, the brighter evenings, the first snowdrops blooming. All signs that longer warmer days aren’t too far away. But winter days are good days to find treasure: pinecones, chestnuts, smooth pebbles, skeletal leaves, lichens, evergreen clippings. I cleared out my car the other day and it was, as you can imagine, filled with earthly gems. There was, of course, an assortment of toys, hats, jackets and single socks, a few stale crisps, but also crumbling leaves, a small collection of chestnuts, some sticks, and a hibernating snail! (Dad, if you’re reading this, I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds xx). Apart from the brittle leaves and pinecones I often rediscover in my coat pockets, most things I pick up on walks either end up in my in my garden or my indoor pot plants. I also like to use some bits as seasonal decorations in vases or wreaths around the house.

There’s just something about coming home to a hot cup of tea after a blustery walk with your pockets full of beautiful and curious things to enjoy and wonder at.

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