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nature

dailyconnectionwithnature feature Mental Health nature water

Searching for joy

July 18, 2021

I had thought to write an inspiring caption for this short film of yesterday’s beautiful wild encounter (swipe left). I took off clothes, swam naked and free, but sometimes I find it hard to write with joy when there’s so much misery in the world. I read the words of a man who worked in an industrial pig farm and the disgusting ways he abused innocent animals just because he could exercise some power. I then felt overwhelmed by the…

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Mental Health nature vanlife

When I’m away from people the world makes sense

July 14, 2021

When I’m away from people the world makes sense. I can walk or cycle these rolling hills with a glorious heartfull of belonging. Every atom of this beautiful earth is deeply sacred so that I can simply exist in these spaces and just breathe.Still, the need to connect, to understand and be understood is a deeply human attribute that I also possess.People give me intense anxiety, but I’m learning to work with it, to slowly feel my way into being…

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books creating dailyconnectionwithnature feature nature

For the trees

July 13, 2021

It’s occurring to me why Suzanne Simard’s Finding the Mother Tree has struck such a chord in my heart. Yesterday I remembered this poem written over a decade ago (first poem in the Prophecy: conversations with my Self pamphlet, from 2010, available as free download from my webshop, link in bio). What Simard is writing about, I knew all those years ago. Well, I didn’t have the understanding that Simard writes of because I’m not a scientist, I’m a poet,…

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dailyconnectionwithnature nature Outdoors

Felling trees

July 12, 2021

Continuing from yesterday’s blog about Finding the Mother Tree, I was reminded of this photo I took a few days ago when we were riding the mtb trails at Drumlanrig Castle (as an aside there’s a cheeky little old-skool 8-ball black run there that’s a lot of fun when added to the red route with challenging off-camber rooty descents and super-skinny trail, but it’s also totally knackering for exactly those same reasons and I needed a couple of days off…

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books nature Review

Finding the Mother Tree review

July 11, 2021

I’ve been raving about Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard to friends for a while now so wanted to share some thoughts on this occasional review section of the OUTSIDER blog. Some elements of this book are difficult to read, especially explicit detailing of scientific experiments made in commercial forests through the spraying of toxic glyphosate herbicides designed to kill off all other plants who might be ‘stealing’ nutrients from trees marked for harvest.Simard writes, “I stared at my…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feature nature Outdoors slowlivingactivism

Learning to know the trees

July 8, 2021

Long summer evenings are light as butterfly wings. Even late in the day, the sun rides high in an impossibly blue sky. The trees here do not know me, but there is time, and the will to bring my open heart so that a dialogue might begin. I’ve had difficult first meetings with some trees (Ae forest) but then in later days had some of the most spiritual experiences of my life in those very same places. Those of us…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feature nature Outdoors slowlivingactivism travel

Keeping the trees alive

July 7, 2021

Visiting some forests is the most difficult thing. Over a decade ago we rode through Ae forest and it was the first time I felt a genuine hatred from the trees towards humans. It’s not something I’d experienced before and it horrified me, that we’d farmed these beautiful beings to the point that they felt this way towards us. Part of the promise I made to myself with this OUTSIDER blog was that I’d speak honestly about my experiences. Part…

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nature poetry

Summer tree connection

June 30, 2021

Following on from yesterday – a poem on connecting with summer trees. There’s a winter tree connection poem also up on the OUTSIDER blog – both are in The Slow-Time Traveller poetry pamphlet (link in bio).…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feature Mental Health nature

On quitting yoga

June 29, 2021

It’s the strangest thing, finding your way in the world, and I’ve written before about the many circular or dead-end paths encountered on this journey of self-discovery. During early sessions of studying Kung Fu (in my late 20s), I couldn’t get my head around the feeling I was a blackboard being wiped clean in order for a new text to be written across me. I didn’t then have the self-knowing to understand this was not the kind of teaching I…

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dailyconnectionwithnature nature Outdoors Wales

On technology and stuff

June 26, 2021

I felt thoroughly sick riding past this yesterday. Listening to that machine chew through all this life just so we can devour more stuff. It forced me to think about a couple of things – firstly the technology that allows our massive consumption as a species. I’m not saying we shouldn’t use wood-based products, that is part of the cycle of life, but what really struck me is how much wood ends up in recycling or landfill when what we…

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