As you may know, I often walk my dog Elsie (border collie, slightly bonkers) down the Tarka trail from Lee Bridge. It's the old railway line along which, as some of you will remember, trains used to run between Mortehoe Station and Ilfracombe.
The verges of the track, and the banks as you go through the cutting, are covered in wild flowers - a bit less now they've been mown. And this year, for the first time, I've been paying attention to these little beauties. I'm not an expert by any means, but I am pleased to say that I now know the difference between red campion and herb robert, and between purple loosestrife and rosebay willowherb. (Impressed?)
Although I quite like knowing what they are, the real pleasure for me is simply in noticing that they're there. Sometimes, like all of us, I'm in my head as I walk along, replaying the past or fantasising about the future. But now there are times when I'm in the moment, and doing nothing more than look and notice. And that takes me into a place of delight, where nothing is needed from me except to pay attention to the beauty that surrounds me.