Unlocked

I went to the cliff top
I crouched in the dark
And heard the waves crashing below
The wind shook the grasses at me and said:
“Remember that you are WILD!”
Oh yes, I remembered, of course I’m wild
And I sank my fingertips
Into the grass
Swore to be a channel
For truth, love and beauty
And speak up for all my siblings

Then I went to the beach
At 2am
I stood at the edge
The waves rolled up to me and said:
“Remember that you are FREE!”
Oh yes, I remembered, of course I’m free
Then I knew that the sea is a lake of tears
Shed in pain, shed in joy
And I shed mine too
She mingled them into her vast body
I sent love and healing
To those I’d shed tears for
And I grew strong

Then I went to the trees
And stood underneath
At the quietest place I know
No people no traffic no birds made a sound
Through the night breeze spoke the trees
“Close your eyes, weary traveller.
Remember that you are LOVED!”
Of course, I remembered, I am loved
My head fell back
Like a baby sister
I couldn’t understand their conversation
But I felt included
And bathed in the deep easy love
Of the trees

I am wild I am free I am loved
And that must be enough
But, I have to REMEMBER
And tonight is the night
To turn everything round
Charged with the magic
Of nature in darkness
Listening rather than looking
I can return to earth and rest
Safe in the arms of my rock

Silent Spring

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When, years ago, we heard Rachel Carson speaking

Of how one day would come a silent spring

We couldn’t know that when it did take place

The silenced ones would be the human race

It’s likely that we’ll never see again

A spring like this with all the wild aflame

Hedges, verges, lawns all gone unmown

No cars gives animals the right to roam

And as they window-shop the empty malls

I wonder if they think it’s worth it all?

Is JD Sports worth poisoning the rivers?

For the catalogue of Argos will the animals forgive us?

Or will they, puzzled, wander round the towns

And wonder why we’re chopping forests down

To have new lines in Zara every week

I bet it leaves them feeling pretty bleak

Oh rejoice in this silent spring my friends

For we will never see its like again

The humans will all soon come out to play

And all the animals will hide away

And all the parks and verges will be mown

And birdsong be drowned out with traffic drone

And late at night their young will gather round

To hear the animals tell how they once went into town

‘Those humans are a funny lot for sure

Let’s just hope that they evolve a little more’

 

Video here: https://youtu.be/OTjZVSgB68E

The Wildest Path

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A true story, on more levels than one…

 

Recently, I took a wrong path.

I was uneasy on the flat,

the dog-walking couples in uniform

oppressed me.

I spotted a hole in the hedge.

 

Mistaking it for one of those paths the children make

to the nearest rope swing,

I scrambled, sprang and crawled up

though the intriguing gap.

It seemed like fun awaited,

a path hardly ever taken by anyone.

And the thrill of being odd; not like the others,

I’ll be frank, always entices.

 

As soon as I emerged, I knew, really,

that I had gone wrong

It was not a path to anywhere.

Uncertainly, but sure I’d find my way

I followed tracks trodden by beasts

 

They meandered and wandered,

appearing and disappearing,

skirting a steep slope.

Watching my every step on the rough ground,

I pressed on; I saw the flowers in the field,

the beautiful wide sky, the larks sang for me…

But I knew I should not be there.

I was nervous, on private land

 

On and on I went along until I met a hedge,

a barrier that seemed impassable.

And so I backtracked, climbed a fence

and gained a thicket pierced by badger’s sets and trails.

I crawled and ducked and pushed the whippy branches

aside

 

But the further I went, the more tangled

the way became, with

thorns, and nettles, brambles and

old dead bracken. I had to step very high

not to trip and fall.

Determined, convinced I was making some progress,

I struggled, barbs tearing my skin,

pulling my hair, clutching at my clothes

 

I pushed and pushed, I sweated and I shed blood,

and finally, I was free!

I’d found my way through!

But where was I?

Back in that same field!

With no way out

except the way I’d come

 

Immediately I turned around.

Decided to chalk it up to experience.

Slightly shamefacedly

I scrambled back down

through the hole in the hedge.

I emerged on the sand

with everyone else

and I took the shortest way home.

 

Caring for your eggshell

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Something a bit different today, but something I’m really keen on: natural cosmetic recipes. A cautionary rule of thumb: do not put anything on your skin that you are intolerant to in your diet. It may very well irritate. Keep all of this stuff away from your eyes. Don’t ingest any essential oils.

I’ve always had super-sensitive skin which gets more and more fragile as I progress through my perimenopause (a common symptom). I use Weleda Baby products day-to-day, but I make my own skin treats and bath-time indulgences.

The simplest (and best) moisturising bath is a good cupful of milk and some lavender essential oil (if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, almond or oat milk is good). A handful of salt or a couple of capfuls of cider vinegar help to balance the skin. I like to add essential oils (rose and geranium is a mixture that I like, but everyone has their own favourites). I usually exfoliate with a cotton washcloth but for an extra, soul-deep clean, I use this recipe:

Take 1 teaspoon oil (olive, almond, coconut, etc.) and mix in a cupful of brown sugar until all the grains are coated. Finely grate square inch of fresh ginger and mix in. Add the juice and zest of half a lime and stir. You can apply the scrub by hand or on a washcloth. Use it within a week.

Face masks of honey or honey and yogurt work well for me, being moisturising and calming. A recipe I saw many years ago had you smooth honey over the face, and then gently pat with flat fingers all over to stimulate circulation and draw out muck. Chilled white tea is a lovely skin tonic. You can whip coconut oil and aloe vera (go for a pure-as-possible aloe vera gel, lots of them have alcohol and other additives) together with a hand blender to make a good general moisturiser for dry or rough skin. Although I often use pure rosehip oil on my face these days, for many years I used virgin olive oil with rose, lavender and tea tree essential oils (5-10 drops of each added to about 15ml of base oil). If you have oilier skin, olive may be too heavy and almond or jojoba will be better.

A nice cooling spray can be made thus: pour 30ml of witch hazel into a 100ml spray bottle, add 5 drops of peppermint oil and shake well. Add 30ml of aloe vera gel and shake again until mixed (if the aloe gel is very thick it may be best to mix these ingredients in a bowl). Top up with distilled water. It’s great for when you’re overheated, on any part of the body, but close your eyes if you are spraying your face! This is similar to a very easy room spray recipe: 30ml witch hazel in a 100ml spray bottle, 5-10 drops of essential oils, shake, top up with water. I react badly to artificial air fresheners (they can trigger migraines) and find these natural ones much better. Lavender is supposed to be good for relaxing, I find lemon and mint refreshing (only use a couple of drops of mint, it overwhelms all other fragrances), rose is calming, citrus oils are a good pick-me-up. But again, you will have your own faves. If you don’t yet know what oils you like, you can research online, ask at a good health food shop, or just go in and smell a few to find a pong that suits you!

Happy indulging!

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