Easter has always been my favourite holiday of the year. Apart from the endless amount of egg-shaped chocolate you can consume, it has always been about family for me. My mom would always do an Easter egg hunt for us even when we started growing older. I think the point was to keep us young and to keep us laughing at ourselves no matter what age we got to. Going to my mom for roast lunch on Easter Sunday was one of my “happy days” that I would trade anything for. You don’t put much thought into these small things until you are forced into a completely different situation and it isn’t available to you anymore.
Easter snuck up on me this year and I didn’t have time to contemplate that I was missing out on the family festivities. I did, however, realise that being in London far away from them is probably something I am going to have to deal with for some years to come. I realised that I need to start making my own rules. I needed to find my own traditions and my own meanings for my favourite holiday. Going back to the true meaning of Easter, we celebrate the death and rebirth of Jesus. I am not extremely religious, but I do believe that every story has a lesson. This one rings so true to me this year. Starting over, rebirth, coming out anew, washing away the past.
These are all things that I chose to focus on this year, being in a new city and plunging forth with whatever my new life is. Eamon and I decided to go to the country this Easter and to get away from the noise of London. I just wanted something completely new, so that I could start making my own traditions. Emily and Justin joined us on our beautiful journey to the Cotswolds. To get back to the “simple” life was so amazing. Farm animals everywhere, no signal and only the bare necessities. Although of course, our BnB happened to have a TV so the boys somehow still snuck in their footie viewing for the weekend.
We started off with a pub lunch in Bourton on the Water. This is the perfect Cotswold village to start any journey. The beautiful River Windrush that winds through the high street is the sweetest welcome. Lined with tea rooms, fish and chip shops and even a motoring museum, this little quaint town stole my heart. We took a stroll along the river, then settled in at The Croft where we all decided to test their Beef and Ale pie. We were blown away! The best pie I have had since I came to England hands down! After the delicious lunch, I stepped into the tiniest sweet store ever to stock up on sweet treats.
We left for Miserden in Stroud. We knew that we wanted one of the lesser known areas for the weekend when we booked our accommodation. Other than this, we had no idea what to expect from Miserden. We arrived just as the bad weather set in so we stumbled into the pub, Carpenter’s Arms, which we were staying above. Greeted by virtually all of the patrons as we entered, we found our host and got settled into our home for the night. Miserden consists of 38 houses, that is it. There is a castle, a nursery, a church, a pub and then there is just green lush land for miles and miles. I was in heaven. The weather didn’t afford us much outside time on our first day there, so we stayed in. Sampled the pub’s wares, played board games and had a relatively chilled night.
The next morning we went walking through the Miserden Park Gardens down to a beautiful dam. The walk through the forest was so green, so muddy and so relaxing. It was tinged with smells of petrichor and wild garlic. We got lost a couple of times, much to the dismay of the locals who had to keep giving us directions. We had a blast just forging our own way through the forestry and trying to follow the river to the dams. We ended up taking the local advice eventually though and found the beautiful green expanse of water that just took my breath away. After standing and watching for a bit, we made our way back to the village to hit the road again.
On our way back to civilisation, we stopped in Cheltenham and took a look at the college grounds and a few churches before driving on through Burford and then home.
This weekend away was exactly what I needed and made me realise how much your friends become your family when you are away from home. I learnt that it is ok to leave your phone on the table and just talk for an entire evening. It made me realise that I see green so much brighter than my camera does. So, I need to focus on keeping those memories in my heart and not just on my iPhone. I learnt that happiness is what I choose to make it. I can focus on how much I miss my family or I can make memories that I can share with them the next time I see them. I don’t need new traditions, the old ones suit me fine, I just shared them with different people. So that is what Easter meant to me this year, learning and not leaning.