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nature

dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature water

Swan selfie

April 25, 2019

Went swimming with swans for the first time today (can’t believe it took coming to Slovenia for this to happen!). At first I was a bit nervous especially as some swans seemed slightly confrontational. Sitting on the jetty I calmed the heart by swirling hands and feet in the icy river. As soon as the swans realised I was getting in the water their attitude change from one of ‘stay away’ to reserved curiosity. As I swam in circles, more…

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dailyconnectionwithnature nature poetry

Elemental

April 21, 2019

All these tumbling blue Slovenian rivers remind me of a poem, Elemental, from the Rebel Sun poetry collection. Ah the trees here in Slovenia in spring! So many bright & beautiful beech trees. Pure radiance. The relationship between tree & water is nothing short of magic: a large, mature tree can lift between 50-100 gallons of water from the ground and discharge it into the air in a day. They literally create their own temperate climate. This blows my mind.…

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dailyconnectionwithnature nature vanlife water

Conversations with water

April 20, 2019

Conversations with water: wherever we visit it is difficult to settle until I have connected with the water. Usually I do this through swimming, and we drink the local tap water, but where possible I’ll drink from streams too. The water here tastes like snow. Gloriously ice-cold & glacial. These routines are part of a simple water ceremony but if anybody has any to share I’d love to hear them? Living in a van makes us acutely aware of our…

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creating nature poetry

From tiny acorns

April 18, 2019

Psycholingualgeography is definitely the most pretentious title I ever gave a poem. I tried to change it on numerous occasions but the poem wouldn’t shift so it had to stay. It means ‘the language of the land’. An obsession over the years has been trying to reflect or share the myriad ways in which the land speaks to us, and I use the shape of the words on the page to mirror internal landscapes, but I can never explain it…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature

Back in cold water

April 16, 2019

Post-run cool-down in a Slovenian glacial waterfall. The water temperature makes me giddy; a thousand tiny ants ice-skate across skin. It’s good to be back home in Northern Europe: wild garlic is rife on the riverbank, yellow primroses are buttoned into the earth everywhere, & beech trees’ acid green spring leaves are spattered across azure skylines. Such energy! I wake each morning dizzy with the infinite potential of it all. 📷 @andyrgarside 💙…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe nature vanlife

Waving goodbye to Crete

April 9, 2019

Tomorrow we leave Crete. It’s been a life-changing, healing winter here. I’ll be sad to wave goodbye to this magical island but we’ll return in a few years I’m sure. Slowing down and hibernating overwinter has allowed me to notice how the sunset moves along that far horizon from left to right as the days roll by; I’ve become aware that the tides are higher and wilder here around the new moon, and have had time to marvel as bright…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature feature India nature

Dharma

April 5, 2019

When my mental landscape shifted dramatically some years ago I had to be outside as much as possible, immersing in nature. This was the strangest experience because I wasn’t brought up with the outdoors. My family cannot name all the birds and trees, I had no concept of the cycles of the moon and felt no great desire to spend long periods of time alone in nature. When that changed and the natural world exploded into life I felt compelled…

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creating dailyconnectionwithnature nature poetry

The weed

March 31, 2019

I haven’t seen many dandelions on Crete yet. They are one of my favourite plants – such tenacity! And every part of her can be used as food or medicine. I have some dried dandelion tea though so that will suffice. But I woke thinking of dandelion today; remembering why I love her strength in the face of such adversity, even when whole TV ad campaigns are built around eradicating this most beautiful, useful, giving plant from people’s lives. My…

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creating nature poetry

I am in I am out

March 27, 2019

Revisiting some older works at the moment, perhaps because slowing down here has given time for introspection. This piece holds a lot of significance for me because it marked a huge shift in my creative output. I wrote and performed it in 2008/9, then published it in early 2010 in a handstitched pamphlet called Prophecy: conversations with my Self (you can download it for free from the Herstory section of my website at sophiemckeand.com). Prior to this I’d been performing…

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