a different kind of map..

I was planning a post about neutral colours but then, this morning, I found a treasure to share

It felt like a map from walking across a leaf

I realised that, whilst walking, I was rhythmically running my fingertips over this smooth surface whilst holding it carefully. For today this felt like an important connection to note down.

Looks heart shaped in line and colour turned this way…

bees on the heather…

The past few days the sight of bees on the heather has filled me with joy. It is only a few steps of walking – out into the garden.

The sound first, then catching sight of them. We wait with anticipation each year as Spring emerges and this is one of the key moments we look forward to. Research tells us they are most attracted to violet, purple, blue colours. A mix of bees appear and the heather is there waiting for them…

moss and a place to sit and think…

From the footpath looking down to the stream I saw this…

It is muddy underfoot today after the rains, the stream has a strong lyrical sound and light bounces from the bubbles as it moves fast. What a place to sit and think this could be.

Moss – wrapping branches, wrapping stones, painting tree limbs – tiny cushion-like mounds, little shards and fingers akin to green icicles, some darkly slippery on the path – all punctuating the landscape with colour

yellow…

this past week signs of early springtime as imbolc marked the gentle shift in season – and it is the yellows that have held my attention

a field with an emerging haze of soft yellow which changes the view of the landscape, lightening the vista

crocus – butter gold as I pass the window, closing their petals about 3 in the afternoon when the temperature begins to drop

primroses which took me by surprise before the snow – I wondered how they could survive the chill, the petals turned translucent but warmed back to strength with the thaw

the catkins on hazel have been out for a while through the winter, but are catching my eye against the blue sky and in harmony and connection with the others I am noticing

New energy glowing and rising..

snow and an owl…

Yesterday just as the light was starting to change, not quite twilight, a barn owl drifted across the bottom of the garden, wings spread wide. We stood transfixed, barely breathing…

And this morning a blanket of snow …

magical hats

footprints

tracks

.. and the colour of apples in the frozen pond, and in the snow under the trees..

snowdrops…

The greens – blue green, yellow green, blends of green wherever my eye rests – a complicated colour for some reason for me to respond to – some sense that I can’t quite put my finger that elicits ambivalent feelings – so I need to think more about that.

Meanwhile though, the first snowdrops are emerging, these shoots delight as they push forth with promise and certainty. The flowers, heads bent on what appear to be such fragile stems, yet so strong and resilient through cold, rain, wind, snow.

healthy air…

Beautiful lichen, growing slowly and strong in colour

So thankful for our clear healthy air 

Walking this morning the rain fell, the wind gusted into our lungs and gave me tingling energy

feather…

Before the soft blue greys caught my eye, my attention was drawn to the glistening raindrops. I think about protective feathers. I first remember collecting natural finds when I was about 3. I called them treasures. In my practice I notice how themes recur and continue to hold fascination throughout our lives.

feathers on a path…

Walking on a path, cradled in a holloway, tree branches curve across overhead

Sunken into the land, green banks of foliage, tree roots, holes in softened bark

Parallel to the road but hidden – the old way, quiet footfall

Looking down underfoot a drift of feathers, quite still

Hues of blues, greys, white and a hint of yellow caught my eye and held it

A pathway for a bird of prey

a path to follow…

Sometimes the unexpected is a way of making connections

Much as the natural world is my focus, the unexpected intervention of colour yesterday reminded me of something

Walking along a muddy path my eye caught a bright fizzing pink. Further along, another..

These dropped love heart sweets, (apart from strong reminders and memories of early days – the taste, the sharing, the sensations of these), evoked a connection about balancing stories, imaginative life and experiences walking – being totally present in the experience of walking.

Hansel and Gretel trailing breadcrumbs to find the path home, markers to map pathways, illuminating treasure in the forests gathering dark. The notions and stories of finding our way through and of unexpected danger lurking. How long though it took to balance that with learning to walk more confidently and sure-footedly and recover a deeper sense of belonging and being part of the reciprocity of wilder places. As a child who loved fairy tales and was frightened by cautionary tales, I was also always so at one within the natural world and concentration on sounds, colours and more sensitive watching and listening are part of this research. Anyway, the colour of sugar pink against muddy charcoal black is on my mind with musings about the practice of walking.