“Whatever I chance upon there is always that peace and wellbeing that finds me here – what are we meant to gain from nature if you share my world view, perhaps even that we are designed for.” – Caroline Greville 2006
It is a time of change; a feeling of uncertainty. Yet there is a buzz in the air. A bitter sweet farewell and ending of projects for the year, but with it brings hope of new opportunities and an energy about the place – like birds darting here and there in their mad dash of anticipation a new challenge awaits us – that we are all in it together.
With Christmas now fast approaching and the winter evenings drawing in, there is a feeling of things quietening down – nature hunkers down for the ‘night’ as we wrap our scarfs and coats more closely around us.
Not all nature is asleep – I went out for a walk around Fyne court this afternoon and you only had to stop and listen to hear the birds chirping away – a robin greeting me a hello as I walk by,he follows me for a while. As I look up at the trees I spy a tree creeper twitching up along the branches.
You can also see signs of life among the fallen leaves. Wildflowers still show signs of emerging and brushing the landscape with a dash of colour. The lichen clothing the trees and branches is also a sign of life; this is not to be overlooked. Drab clothes are lit up, protecting the sleeping life beneath. Nature carries on. And so do we.
It has been a week of mixed emotions as things draw to a close for the end of the year. This week saw the end of the Hunstile Farm Project until next year. Where has the 10 weeks gone from when it started? In that time however it has been a pleasure to see the group evolve and blossom. Our last session ended on a merry tune with homemade mince pies (we had a talented baker in the ranks), hot chocolate and tea and a taste of music from another talented participant. What was clear to see was the joy they were discovering in being a part of the group, and for us to observe each one grow in their confidence to participate and contribute to the team.
One participant remarked how it had helped them to rediscover skills they weren’t confident they had and found comfort from the group routine. Another reflected how it got them out the house experiencing emotion such as joy that they hadn’t felt in a long time and learning to trust in it again. To witness their enthusiasm and drive to maintain this sense of wellbeing was infectious.
Now is the time, in these winter months, to evaluate and reflect on what has worked well, what we need to remember, to take in what we have learnt, what we want to see more of, what we want to see less of and new hopes for 2018.
It is not everyone’s season. The cold, the wet and the darkness can be oppressing. It can also be a lonely season. But if we can take hope from the natural world – that we adjust to what this season brings us – letting go of how we want it to be and accepting what it is – we can find comfort there.
The light has been amazing recently – when the sun peeks through everything glistens. The trees stand tall and majestic in their bare frames except for the scrambling ivy climbing up to the top most branches. Let this be a metaphor for renewed hope and life still living.