Wild Cat Island

We adored the place. Coming to it we used to run down to the lake, dip our hands in and wish, as if we had just seen the new moon. Going away from it, we were half drowned in tears. While away from it, as children and as grown ups, we dreamt about it. No matter where I was, wandering about the world, I used at night to look for the North Star and, in my minds eye, could see the beloved skyline of great hills beneath it.

Arthur Ransome


Floating in the perfect

rock channel harbour

of Wild Cat

Island of my imagination

and childhood reading.

Today I didn’t land

but basked in the sun

reflecting on half forgotten dreams,

happy that a life where this place

is just down the road

was one dream

I made happen.

And I wonder if there are

other dreams from younger days

buried in the habits of adulthood,

shadow realities

which I could choose to bring to life.

Forest Bathing

At a conference,

head bursting with ideas.

Talks about nature and wellbeing,

beauty, emotions,

the benefit of mindful ‘forest bathing’,

the importance of nature connections.

Invigorating subjects

dried up by windowless rooms,

air conditioning,

artificial lighting

and too many strangers.

Break time and I escape

into a bookshop.

Funny how I always end up in one of these

when the urban world becomes too much.

My shoulders drop as I cross the threshold,

calm among wood

pulped and pressed into pages,

the ghosts of trees.

A forest of paper and words,

and silence.

I feel at home

I don’t read them, just soak in the cathedral-like atmosphere

and refrain from buying another expensive notebook.

I feel the benefit of a kind of forest bathing,

a tenuous connection to nature

until I can get back to the real thing.

Everyday insights

Gripped by anxiety,

a looming hospital appointment,

I failed to notice the world outside

where the blackbird continued to sit on her nest in the rain,

and despite my unawareness

the symphony of spring carried on.

Then suddenly, I realized.

Anxiety again.

Welcome.

I don’t have to fight you any more

I just have to relax.

We are not separate,

you are not something to be held at bay

by techniques and force of mind.

You are a response to a situation,

my response.

Forgive me.

You have always been the frightened child

I pushed away.

Now you are welcome to rest here

until we both feel safe again.

A queen bee stopped on a flower, unnoticed,

unmoved by my revelation

as I wiped away a tear,

but I will remember.

Peace is always waiting

A rushing kind of a day

Deep within the demands of work

Deadlines loom

So I concentrate

Focus

Get things done

And forget myself

Now it’s evening and

I peel myself away from the TV

Put on some music

Slow down into

Familiar movements

An hour later

I re-emerge

Relaxed

Refreshed

Calm

Reawoken to the truth

That if I slow down

Underneath the rush

Below the fear, the fuss, the resistance

Peace is always waiting

This Creative Life

There were holes in

This one wonderful creative life

It had got a little threadbare

Over the years

In need of darning

Tarnished

A light had dimmed

And now, I’m adding threads

Wild snatches of music

Experienced from the inside

Part of a circle of people playing

For themselves and for each other

Sharing tunes and memories

And weaving a richer life

The warp and weft of friendships

Reacquainted.

Stories, rhythms, rhymes

And the hills of the Lake District

My hills

And a scattering of colour, paint on canvas,

Feeling the lines and texture flow from the brush in my hand

The peace of deep, relaxed movement

Taking time to reconnect

The wake of a canoe across the lake

Adding a silvery thread

All combining

All absolutely necessary

Now I know what I’ve been missing

All of this is what I need

Now there are no threadbare patches left

In the tapestry that is

This creative life

A message to my younger self

Driving to work

Past fields and hedges and trees without leaves,

The distant fells of the Lake District,

A milky opalescent dawn sky,

And I feel so happy

And I think, if I could send a message

To my younger self

I would say

‘Relax

I know things don’t feel easy.

But it will all work out in the end.

Take it one step at a time, don’t worry so much.

Life still has its ups and downs,

But the view from here is worth it.’

How’s your nature connection?

According to research, people are more likely to care for the environment if they have a connection to nature, rather than just knowing facts about wildlife and the environment.  And lots of people don’t have this connection.

I have a deep connection to nature. I find it hard to imagine that it’s possible not to be emotionally involved with the natural world, not to care about it, not to need to spend time outdoors. 

My day can be transformed by the sight of a robin outside my office window, by the dark silhouette of a tree against a winter sky, by the play of light on water, by the glimpse of a flower growing amongst concrete.  

I’m connected to landscapes too, I greet my favourite mountains like old friends, and certain landscapes make me feel deeply at home even if I’ve never been there before. 

I don’t always love being outdoors.  I’m happy to get inside to escape wind, rain and cold. I’m not a fan of wasps, ticks or other bitey insects. I like to have a cosy indoors to retreat to. 

I’ve always felt that being outside and spending time in nature is good for me, not just for the physical exercise, much more than that; good for my whole being.

There is now lots of research that shows that spending time outdoors, in green spaces, helps improve health and mental wellbeing.  It certainly makes me feel good.

Not everyone feels a strong connection to nature, to the outdoors, as this blog I read today explains.

Have you connected with nature today ?