PEACE AND QUIET

It’s so peaceful. The dawn chorus is long since complete but still the birds sing, uninterrupted by any man made sound. I know little of bird song but even I can clearly identify ten or more calls. Some are close by though I can see no sign of them. Others are high in the tops of the pine trees that stand to attention all around the small glade in which I sit. Their song floats down to me in a random and yet melodious tumult.

The sunlight is fighting to break through the thin, high cloud and if I look up I can see patches of blue through the tops of the pine trees. The day promises much. The rays cut through the branches, leaving the forest floor splattered with light and dark patches of green.

A wood pigeon is nesting in the eaves of the lodge just above my head and its rhythmic cooing is regular, like a heart beat. I hear no cheeping. The eggs must have yet to hatch and so she sits and waits and coos.

A bee buzzes past. It’s a harsh sound, quite out of place with the harmony of the birds and one that I subconsciously associate with danger. I am relieved when it moves on and out of ear shot.

And as I sit here I see rabbits, their white tails bouncing through the undergrowth and a red squirrel, come to investigate the remains of our disposable barbecue then leaving, disappointed, to go forage elsewhere. Just beyond that is the wigwam of sticks that my children built yesterday but that seems to hold no appeal to the squirrel, its artificial shape betraying its natural building materials.

It’s early, not yet 9.15 and so I expect a degree of quiet. But I find it hard to believe that I am sitting outside my lodge in a holiday camp at half term. Barely a human sound cuts through the harmony of the wood. I am called inside for breakfast and as I hit save a blue tit alights on the wigwam, hunting for tasty treats.

This is why we return to Centerparcs year after year. Just around the corner are all the organised activities that you could ever need but here, outside my lodge, it is calm and tranquil.

What do you think? I'd love to know...