Hello! I didn't mean to stay away for so long but May got on top of me and I retreated. However, I have come home from a half term camping trip feeling relaxed, revived and ready to face the world again.
I have decided to have another go at 30 Days Wild, the annual campaign run by The Wildlife Trusts which encourages us to do one wild thing each day during the month of June. I have participated in this before but never completed it, rain usually defeating me, but so far, it's going well. This year, 123,129 people have registered with the campaign, doing something to put themselves in touch with the natural world every day.
We were camping on The Lizard in Cornwall last week which made it easy. The campsite is rural with lovely mature trees and hedgerows, reached at the end of a mile-long, single-track lane through the Gwendreath Valley. Each morning I awoke to clamouring birdsong and stepped outside the tent, barefoot, onto grass which was still wet with dew. I watched the daisies open out their petals as the morning sun touched them. One morning, an unfamiliar butterfly landed on my t-shirt and sat there for a while (I think it was a fritillary but I don't know which one). One evening I spent quite a long time examining the lichens on the trees around our pitch. At night, an owl hooted. Campers are very aware of the weather and on the hot, sunny days we went to the beach, watched the light change over the water, lay in the warmth of the sun and listened to the rhythm of the waves as they landed on the shore. I paddled in the shallows of cool, clear water and poked about in rock pools. On the day the sun didn't shine, we noticed the mist over the water and watched it thin out. I spent some mindful minutes contemplating all this every day, although most of the time I simply enjoyed it.
Returning home, my acts of wildness require more effort. On Day 6 I visited my friend in the local hospice and stepped outside when staff needed to attend to her. The garden is beautifully planted in a cottage style and I sat and watched great tits and dunnocks on the bird feeders while a grey squirrel scampered around on the ground, picking up the dropped seeds. Now that I have no cats, perhaps I will set up a bird feeding station? I didn't want to do it before because it didn't seem fair. On Day 7 I met with two other friends in a garden. As we drank tea and listened to the birdsong I told them about 30 Days Wild and one of them slipped off her shoes to feel the grass beneath her feet.
These acts of wildness don't need to be grand. I couldn't go to a beach today but I could take a mug of tea into my garden, listen to the birds, watch the bees and think about my relationship with the natural world. I could sit down, slip off my shoes and read a book. If it rains tomorrow, I could sit in the summerhouse with the doors open, listen to the raindrops and smell the petrichor. It's all about connexion.
See you soon. Take care and stay safe.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x