I didn't really know how I felt, or how I should feel. I couldn't quite understand why I had this urge to go to the river.
I was worried about what feelings and memories it would bring back.
I immediately remembered how I didn't really like the journey there, not that it was a long journey at all but 45ish minutes, and remembering the journey home, after a day of sailing, was tiring. I didn't miss that.
We sat and ate our supermarket picnic lunch in the car until we decided to go for a walk. We started out at the car park, looking at a couple of ducks as they decided to jump into the river rather than to wait to see if we had any treats for them. We didn't, so at least they didn't make that an awkward moment!
And once I felt like I'd eased myself into this environment, that I hadn't been to for two years, we walked along the riverbank.
Another familiar route, usually involving armfuls of sleeping bags, food, and what sometimes seemed like unnecessary items for a simple weekend stay on a wooden yacht.
I missed the view. The sound of cows in the distance, the odd flock of geese flying over, the chug of a motorboat as it floats past.
I missed seeing the reeds moving poetically in the wind. I missed seeing the currant of the water. Dodging piles of goose poo, reminding the boys to not get too close to the water (in all fairness, they never do, but parent worries and all that).
I tried to not let emotions take over me. I stayed calm, with a few moments of my eyes filling with tears.
I was here to say goodbye. I was here to let go but to be thankful of those memories.
It all seems incredibly dramatic I guess, but I've learnt to trust my intuition and to follow any urges I have. I knew there was a reason I needed to visit the river.
We stood for a while, well, I stood, the boys played with various foliage they found on the river bank. I felt like I wanted peace and unreasonably got frustrated at them being noisy. Until I thought for a bit, and switched off from my thoughts and just listened to them. They were laughing. They were having fun.
Then I knew it was time to go.
With a head that was full of memories, both good and bad, we walked back to the car and I slowly felt those memories drift away. Not that they are gone forever, but they became my past.
They are no longer part of who I am now, or part of my life now.
The only two times I went to the river in 2015 were both bad memories. I didn't want the happy times to be clouded by those two times.
So saying goodbye to the river, and getting that closure, made me understand that urge to visit so much more.
It was something I needed to do. Something I needed to let go of.
It was an overdue goodbye to that part of my life.
To the old me.