Reasons to be grateful #9 – misty winter sunsets like these

I’m at home with my parents this weekend. We headed out for a walk in the woods rather later than I would have preferred today due to various reasons and for the first few moments of the walk I was kind of annoyed.

But if we had left earlier we would have missed this wonderful misty wintery sun setting over the Severn estuary in the Cotswolds.

So we were lucky to be late today.

Reasons to be grateful #5 – walking in the woods with my best one

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One of the things I’ve been doing with this blog over that last few months is trying to keep track of some of the things I am grateful for, following this post about gratitude. I thought it would be fun to build up a little collection of doodles to capture these. Finding the time to do this has been a bit challenging, but I have enjoyed thinking about what to draw.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had some unpredictable weather here in the UK, swinging rapidly between spring sunshine and flurries of winter snow. We’ve been lucky enough to have time to go for 2 really nice walks in the woods, in between the snow showers and rain. I find being in the woods particularly relaxing and refreshing, and love the curving unruly forms of nature. A few weekends ago we came across some beautiful mosses, which were intricate in form and all kinds of vivid greens.

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My fiancĂ© (still getting used to calling him that) frequently have our best, most thoughtful conversations while out walking and not distracted by other things. It is often in the woods where we discuss what we would like to do together in the future, or scheme to create a joint project. So I am grateful to have that time and space with him whenever possible. I also find that when I am walking I have some of my best ideas. I think there is something about the rhythm of walking that may make different connections in my brain in comparison to just sitting in front of a screen or with some materials. So I am grateful for that different kind of ‘head space’ too.

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Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Walking in the woods.

We are taking a few days down time at the moment, staying in the New Forest. It is a very beautiful, wild place. We have taken several long walks through the woods and I have certainly felt better for it. The air is lighter and fresher here. At times I feel I walk a little taller, the muscles in my back are not so tense.

When I manage to get out of the city and into the countryside I am frequently shocked into remembering how vividly beautiful the UK countryside is. It is spring at the moment and we have encountered blubell carpets and the fresh green shoots of new growth all around us. I often feel, when out and about in our vibrant green spaces, that many people from the UK who travel long distances to find exotic wild locations are missing out on the wild places that are much closer to home. 

But we have also encountered patches of land where the trees are dying. The forest is undergoing wetter winters and dryer summers, and the natural soil microcosm is becoming unbalanced, leading to the roots of many trees rotting in the soil. The change in soil conditions is probably an consequence of climate change. 

Here is another reason I am so disappointed with the moral leadership of our current generation of politicians. We have known for quite some time there is much work to be done to protect our beautiful wild places, from cleaning up polution, and carefully assessing the impact of various pesticides on the soil, through to the Enormous task of planning and taking action over climate change. But while there are many organisations working hard to tackle these problems, our politicians appear to take a ‘profit now, some one else can clean up the mess later’ attitude. This is a peculiarly selfish and short sighted approach, which burdens generations to come with a vastly depleted natural environment, and the loss of those wonderful British wild places.