FULL MOON JULY 2020
A Solstice Month to Remember.
Welcome to the To The Trees Full Moon update. Something happened over Solstice that propelled me into action. Did you feel it too? To me, it felt like the restrictions of the last months had met their opposing force, and an explosion of creativity fell forth of the likes I have not experienced since my twenties.
At that time there was a definite stepping into new purpose and taking responsibility, that seems to be mirrored in this period. I have been stepping well out of my comfort zone and have found it a very liberating experience, which is in contrast to the lack of liberty we have been afforded in the past few months.
I hosted a number of gigs over the Glastonbury festival weekend, including a tree walk to Middlewick on Saturday, and two appearances on Sunday in which I spoke about the bardic tradition, introduced some trees and probably waffled on for a little too long. These appearances are neatly compiled in this month’s podcast #4, for enjoyment at your leisure.
And that is not all; I also launched the To The Trees E.P. on Spotify and ITunes, relaunched the weekly tree walks and workshops, hosted a very special Solstice tree walk and musical performance on the morning of the 21st, and, I’ve started a new evening tree walk which will leave on Wednesdays at 7pm, circumambulating the Tor.
Despite the business, I have had some free time to walk. I get out first thing, before the day has a chance to approach me with its lists. I walk early with the intention of prioritising this behaviour of sitting in nature, above all. To me this is the most valuable and productive starting point for any day and rather than being, “a waste of time”, actually places me in a mindset that allows me to approach the day in a more collected way. It is allowing me to reiterate again and again the desire I have to connect with nature and for it to permeate and transform my life. And it is.
I sit in a number of carefully selected spots, one of which has been recently occupied by a tent. I know the dweller, he was moved on from his previous spot when an elm dropped a large branch directly on his campsite. It reminds me of the line in folklore: “Elm hateth man and waiteth”. Though there is little to hate about this man, I think the woodland folk were ready for him to move on. Trouble is, he just so happens to have moved to another area that is bristling with the mischief of the fae, a regular sitting place of mine. I daren’t mention it!
This spot is attractive to me, it’s secluded and sheltered from the wind and there are three layers of canopy, a bottom layer of dogwood, with field maple in the middle and cherry on top. The floor is wet, but I have found a darling solution to that: bunches of ash keys, at this time of year, make perfect cushions. There are plenty about, still hanging to branches that have failed to weather the recent winds. I take two good sized bunches, shake out the rain and place them on the floor, placing my bum on top of them. I’ll sit there for a good 45 mins to an hour, sipping coffee from my flask, allowing my mind to meander in and out of thought and observation. It’s a sort of open receiving state that allows ideas and inspiration to flow while at the same time calming my nervous system, and slowing down the thought revolver.
While being still and quiet, I often hear rustles and twitches in the nearby branches. It seems that the creatures are becoming more familiar with my presence, either that, or I stay motionless for long enough that they forget I’m present at all. The squirrels feed happily in the canopy above my head, dropping cherries that create a polka dot pattern across the woodland floor. On one occasion, while sat with my eyes closed, I heard a scuffle, I waited for further signals, but none came. Then, about two minutes later, a similar noise. I slowly opened my eyes to investigate, and found a squirrel sat just a meter or two from me, clinging head downwards to the field maple, just watching me. It sat there for a good thirty seconds before hopping off across the woodland floor.
On another occasion, I opened my eyes to a family of rabbits feeding not three metres away from me, two larger rabbits and five smaller balls of fur, frolicking. Eventually disturbed by two blackbirds belting through the understory. The robin, whose territory I sit within, patrols the lower branches of the maples and often takes up a spot on the tree stump opposite me. Young upstart robins, with their clumsy landings, downy feathers and lack of red, venture unwittingly onto the older robin’s land and receive an immediate lesson in the fierce nature of the robin hierarchy.
The Robin at the bottom of the Tor, however, seems to have been making a lot of friends.
I hope you enjoy this month’s Highlights.
Matt Witt 26/06/2020
Bring the outside in!
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