Most evenings after work, I walk with my two boys, both under ten years old. On a recent walk we stepped across a wooden bridge that moved us from the boundary of our village onto a farmland footpath.

Just a short walk along the stream edge brought us to a clearing. This was where my boys wanted to stay and explore. A perfectly branched sycamore has now become their climbing frame and the stream has been crossed many times, initially with leaps of faith and latterly via a bridge made from interlocking branches.

I join in too, but often just find a spot to sit where I can enjoy watching them lose themselves in their natural play against a setting sun. At other times I close my eyes and tune in to the surroundings – shivering leaves in the tall poplar trees, water trickling along the stream, birds chirping, or the boys playing – really playing.

In that space there is no absolute silence, yet I find myself in a personal ‘silent space’ that allows me to really connect with things most dear to me, and often, for the first time that day, to feel relaxed and at peace.