Of all the things I’d expected to feel that weekend, the overwhelming swelling burst of patriotic pride I felt whilst glancing out of the side of a Megabus on the M1 in the early evening spring light was the one which most surprised me.
Grass everywhere. Fields of rapeseed glowing golden as the sun started to relax for the evening. Trees finally lush and green after the seemingly never-ending relentless winter. Long shadows exaggerating hedgerow boundaries.
It all just looked so…
And at that moment – as I sat, chilled from the over-enthusiastic air conditioning, wrapped up in my scruffy long cotton scarf, boots kicked off to ease my sore feet from dancing during two nights out in row, that I felt truly, wholly glad that I live here – that I had come back, that I hadn’t caught a plane, that this was home.
When I was younger, I used to be scared of those dark clusters of road-side trees, lining late-night drives home from jaunts in the Essex countryside or trans-London visits to family. Now those dense pockets of greenbelt, sliced by motorway, seemed more like a cushion, a quilted buffer – protecting, welcoming and safe.
Pylons hold up wires like celebratory bunting stretched over a village fete covering the green expanses of my island.