Imagine with me a warm sunny Sunday afternoon in DeLapre Park. It is in a small English town in the Midlands. Sundays are spent doing traditional things.
My friend Pat, her family, and I and my family would plan to meet in the Park after lunch.
There is church in the morning, followed by a home cooked roast lunch eaten around a well laid table.
After the babies have had their naps and dishes are washed. We get out the strollers and walk to the park gate where we meet up as planned.
First a stroll; we take the long stroll to the hill. The babies are asleep in their strollers. Sturdy walking shoes are the order of the day; husbands smilingly take up the rear carrying heavy picnic baskets.
In the distance the echo of bat on ball and umpire calls can be heard. Closer by, other families stroll in all directions, some youths on bikes race to nowhere, while giggling girls saunter by and barking dogs enthusiastically chase each other or they ‘fetch’ sticks thrown by owners.
The band is playing gentle melodies in the bandstand. The sky is cloudless and a gentle breeze is blowing our way.
No one is yelling. Laughter can be heard everywhere as we head for the hill that overlooks the park and the beautiful lake. Our conversations are modulated, yet passionate.
At last we find our target. It is a large great oak tree. Underneath the grass is green and recently morn. We spread our blankets and sit down on the grassy mound underneath it. There are others here but they are far enough away to afford us a sense of privacy.
Eventually the picnic baskets are opened to reveal flasks of hot tea, china tea cups and saucers, sliced cakes and buns, and silver cutlery.
This is one of the highlights of our week, this pleasure that money cannot buy; it is tea with friends under an oak tree in the open fresh air. It’s our Sunday picnic!
Serenity pervades the senses. An audible hush descends on our group. We express our thanks to God for this pleasure; this ‘rest’ from the day to day stresses of our lives.There is a small boat on the lake now. The birds are flying overhead.
Hours later, after we clear away, we allow the babies to play and crawl around on the blankets. Our husbands may nod off in the shade.
Soon it will be time to leave this ‘idyll’ and slowly return to our homes.
But for now, it is Picnic time!
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