We walked with Jack along a low lying plain in the New Forest, our steps on the yielding mossy carpet punctuated by virulent gorse. In the distance, an autumnul forest dense with turning leaves, crouched under their weight on the horizon line. Lower to one side of us, a shallow river soothed its way through a boggy tufted mire, meandering as if time were meaningless. England was cast off it’s summer axis, the sun’s brightness was burnished and everything we saw was given a halo of gold.
Eventually we reached the cool embrace of the forest. Sunbeams streamed into the shade to dance with lazy afternoon haze which wrapped the trees; caught up together, their steps set the undergrowth aflame into bursts of colour.
For minutes at a time I stood to take in the scene in front of me. I became as enchanted as the child I had been long ago, a child who had believed in magic.
I had found it again.