Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer is Another Country

Summer is another countrythese were words whispered in an enchanting short film I watched once upon a time about horse-drawn travellers in England, for which sadly I can no longer find the link. But still, the words are etched on my heart and I think of them often as I stand amidst this delicately unfolding warm season of long hot days and balmy late nights, adorned with friends who shine like stars and with whom we are blessed to have the ability to talk and dream with, freely.

My need for another country (in the real sense) is a need adrift as I notice myself utterly absorbed within waterways mirrored with green, mesmerised by the abundant wildlife and peaceful hedge-lined lanes of my beautiful England. There have been celebrations and fairs to capture my attentions where bells and dancing feet have caught my eye and the sound of children running free with flowers in their hair or skipping happily beneath the ribbons of may-poles, have warmed my heart.

By boat, foot, bus, train or bicycle, this little family have traversed the landscape and perhaps it is these slower modes of transport that have encouraged us to notice more, endearing us so to the beauty right beneath our noses. We have paddled in cool rivers, jumped hay bales in fields, run around parks, climbed hills, explored forests, always always learning as we go; flowers, trees, fruits, how to ‘ping’ ribbed plantain, make dens and always, we rejoice in being free. So far it has been a summer of nature and for sure, it has been a summer of childhood.

Yet with that summer of childhood has come many lessons for this travelling mother, lessons that remind me of the importance of friendship for little ones eager to find their way independently in this world, lessons of how best to continue living a wayfaring life that can nurture a love affair for a whole family. Selfishness is a word unable to find a comfortable resting place in this mother’s vocabulary and so I have found myself entwined with the needs of others and those needs, although sometimes hard for me to facilitate, have ultimately shown me joy and given me greater appreciation for the communities within which we have so often been welcomed back, despite our frequent departures. 

It has been an unnerving yet glorious feeling for this naturally solitary soul to be greater exposed to a social world primarily for the benefit of another, because it has shown me that to embrace those who each bring with them rare and special uniqueness, is to open yourself up to a deeper understanding of life.

But now the much-needed silence - followed by the much-needed noise - of many weeks travelling by narrowboat, has given way to a need to pare down even further, dip our toes back into the sea, sink our hands deep into the earth; to be even closer to our natural selves, feel inspired by the great expanse of an un-limiting horizon and learn from those who grow  food organically within a world that seems indifferent to the need for this.

Wheels. Seaside. Land.

Yes, soon our campervan will be dusted down from storage and we will be heading to one of the (in our opinion) most beautiful parts of England ~ Norfolk ~ to finish this Summer, this other country in my country… and then, I guess, this wandering family will see which way the wind blows…


Several other things... 

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I have watched some interesting documentaries lately, which I feel compelled to share... I hope you will enjoy some (or all) of them!

Juliette of the Herbs
Juliette of the Herbs is a beautifully filmed lyrical portrait of the life and work of Juliette de Bairacli Levy: world renowned herbalist, author, breeder of Afghan hounds, friend of the Gypsies, traveller in search of herbal wisdom and the pioneer of holistic veterinary medicine.

Plants for a Future
A garden you can eat, a garden you can wear, a garden you can use as your medicines, a garden you can use as fuel and to build your houses... a garden full of purposes, and a garden you can enjoy as well - that you can sit in - and a garden that doesn't take up all your time.

A Farm for the Future
Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking investigates how to transform her family's farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, and discovers that nature holds the key. Realising that all food production in the UK is completely dependent on abundant cheap fossil fuel, particularly oil, she sets out to discover just how secure this oil supply is. Alarmed by the answers, she explores ways of farming without using fossil fuel. With the help of pioneering farmers and growers, Rebecca learns that it is actually nature that holds the key to farming in a low-energy future.

Making the Connection
A new film which invites you on a journey - together with a chef, a farmer, an MP, an athlete, a dietitian and a poet. It explores an exciting lifestyle which combines delicious, healthy food whilst tackling many of the global challenges facing us today. Will you make the connection and become part of the solution?


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