Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Writing in Nature at Coed Aberneint

I belong to a small writers' group who meet regularly. Today we went to Coed Aberneint and did a circular walk, stopping at three locations to write - observing and reflecting for ten minutes each time.

Stop One
There’s a skill to being able to silence the heart and mind in the midst of turmoil, in extremes, like Primo Levi. Some psyches seem more capable of surviving- not quite intact but not completely dismantled either. The persistence of a chainsaw and birdsong dissecting the air. I’d like to pare back, to let the light in on what I love. To take time to notice what matters, to heal with the felled trees and fallen birds.

Stop Two
Beneath an oak tree. Reminded of a conversation about non native trees being “wrong”. What is rootedness? Some things survive and thrive so well out of place. What takes root and what gets blown by the wind? Dispersal, upheaval, displacement. And the wind is up now making all of that possible if not preferable. It seems we survive in such small margins of error. Birds fly over. I think of the solitary curlew that accompanied me across alien moors - the peat paths and granite boulders. The curlew calling was a constant. It sounded like my heart keening.

Stop Three
Waterfall. Water falling. The force of water on the move. It finds its ways through fissures, around stones and drops into itself over the edge. The insistence of it beats into the blood. It carries the fallen along without discernment, sprays upwards on the wind. Where is its source, where is its release? Following streams off mountains in mist. Rowan trees seeded along their sides, their berries blood red. Listening now to what the river says. Feeling more found than lost.

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