This last weekend I visited my parents, at my childhood home- well same land, different house.
It's always necessary for me to go the woods while I'm home, to reconnect and notice. I took a morning walk down the water logged field to the woods, where last time I was home there was crisp and bright snow. The sun was shining brightly and I'd put way too many layers of clothes on. Turns out if I'd gone out an hour or two later I would have needed all those layers, you have to be ready for the weather! Phew!
I could see in the distance that the winds over the winter had not been kind to the trees and I wandered closer to see the damage it had caused to the trees I'd played in and around as a child. The trees that had grown along with me.
There were 2 trees with big chunks snapped off at the side of the field, five or six trees uprooted and were now languishing on the ground in the section of woods directly below the croft and various others on their way to collapse come the next high winds. Root balls straining at the ground, leaning with persistent pressure on the resistant neighbouring trees.
Now, at first glance I may in the past have thought it totally devastating, that these few fallen trees as being a destruction of the woodland and for want of a better word a 'mess'. And it is sad, especially when woodlands are so precious. Of course it is never a good thing to take wreaking of our environment lightly, especially if it as the hands of humans. In this instance, I reminded myself not to be too disheartened or sad about it, because it's another part of the cycle.
I've been reminded of this recently when taking a course in Ecosystems. Dead wood is a vital part of the health of woodland ecosystem. It provides many positive benefits such as nutrients, plays a role in carbon storage and provides a huge array of micro habitats for things such as fungi , lichens, invertebrates, mosses and birds.
I looked down and noticed the slender and bright green leaves of bluebells were piercing from between the beech and oak leaf litter, and even continuing their growth from the ground that had been ripped from horizontal to vertical with the tree roots. All this stirring a sense of anticipation in me and memories of the spring where I went for a walk in these woods and almost stumbled over a fawn, huddled and slumbering deep amongst the bracken and bluebells, it's nose twitching with each breath. That is one of my most precious nature experiences.
I slipped and slithered through streams and squelching puddles, as the run off from the fields meandered and rushed its way to the bottom of the hill. I stopped and listened. I breathed the sunlight. The birds were singing and the movement and shimmer of the water trickled its negative ions, deeply seeping into my soul.
Being by streams and burns does something to me...it melts me. It always has had a calming effect in my life. From a young age I would sit and play for hours next to the burn that edged my parents croft. Hours of absorbing play, creating stories and worlds with this flow of water at the centre.
I often wonder about getting an heart monitor or other cool brain research monitor attached to me and seeing how much my heart rates slows or brain activity changes when I put myself beside water, when I dip my fingers in and feel it's cool soothing flow.
Nature and it's effects on our mind, body and spirit fascinates and inspires me and by immersing myself in it's wonder I find more creativity and strength in what I do and why I do it.
If a connection with nature, creativity or inner strength is something you feel you are missing in your life I'd love to invite you to take part in an upcoming course I'll be delivering- alongside Morwhenna- The Creative Adventurer , via your inbox but administered in nature. Find out more by clicking the button below...
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