Phew! It feels like an age since I lasted posted on here, but life does tend to go on I’m afraid. In this case it saw a rather hasty house move at the very end of last year, escaping an unpleasant atmosphere from the previous landlords who insisted on spraying weedkillers on the drive despite my requests not to. Instead, we have ended up in a gorgeous house up in the Wolds, with a stream at the bottom of the garden and a huge space for me to grow herbs, vegetables and all kinds of wild and garden flowers, so all is well that ends well! There are stories here, in the stream overhung with trees adorned with bracket fungus, in the light as it slips over the hills in the morning and evening, far more stories than there were further down on the flatlands. I’m looking forward to learning them, and perhaps telling them.
This year brings a huge shift in levels of busy-ness for me, as I am now teaching a LOT more ( up to 8 workshops a month at the moment, alongside seeing clients and trying to find time to do all the creative stuff that feeds my soul). I’ve got two books on the go, now, when I get a spare few minutes to write them – the Enchanted Herbal, which is full of retellings of fairy tales that feature herbs, plus a few original pieces based around folklore, and a new project which sprang into my mind fully fledged last week – Northern Europe’s Forgotten Herbs, which will focus on some of the more unusual wildflowers that we don’t seem to use or engage with any more.
Two days ago the Viking and I were out digging over a new corner bed for wildflowers and herbs, and found we were being serenaded very lovingly by a robin, perched in the hornbeam next to the hedge and watching every lift and movement of the trowel. So we stopped and watched him. “Help yourself, if you want. We’ll stop for a few minutes so you can dig in.” It was the sort of joking conversation I often find myself having with birds and animals, and I am constantly astonished by how much they seem to understand. In this case, the robin cocked its head on one side and looked at us, then promptly flew down into the bed and began pecking up bugs. He was barely a metre away from us at this point. We got a quiet tweet of enquiry after a minute or two. “Carry on – we’ll give you another minute or two, then we have to carry on working.” So the robin stuffed his beak for another minute or two, then we got serenaded again with another song before he flew off, just ahead of us returning to work. Pure magic.
It never ceases to amaze me how much of a conversation we can have with wild nature if we are just willing to slow down and take the time to listen. A lesson I have to relearn regularly as I make the mistake of getting so wrapped up in work that I forget to slow down.
Spring is on its way over here – I wish you all a beautiful and flower filled one, with lengthening days and cool nights, and lots of seedlings and sun!