To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed.
– Roger Deakin, Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees
After a super weekend on the first ever Wild Women Wanders (read all about it in this beautiful blog post from my friend Annette at Four Acorns) in the Mournes I had a lot to process! There was so much lovely feedback from the ladies who attended, which left me feeling so energised and inspired, then it was onto planning the next one…so, I made sure to create some time in my busy week to get outside to think it all over and also to unwind a little.
Living in Belfast I feel so fortunate to have so many wild spaces to escape to and explore when I need a little ‘time-out’. There are so many beautiful green areas, country parks, beaches, hills and forests to retreat to, and my favourite haunt, the Mournes are only an hour’s drive away. So really I am spoilt for choice when it comes settling on a place to go for a midweek adventure. Yesterday I wanted to try out my Kelly Kettle once again – a gorgeous and gratefully received gift from my husband and 3 children at Christmas, so I decided to go for a woodland wander to the waterfall in Crawfordsburn Country Park then nip down onto the fabulous nearby beach to cook my lunch and enjoy a cuppa!
The weather was seriously mild for a mid-January day with tropical temperatures of almost 11 degrees and the winter sunshine lit the woodland up so beautifully. The circular trail undulates alongside the river and leads to a magnificent waterfall at the halfway point before looping back via a steep set of steps (great leg workout and if you have kids they will enjoy counting them!).
I then collected my lunch supplies from the car and hit the beach to light my Kelly Kettle (first time on my own – eeek!) and managed to successfully cook myself some soup for lunch and heat some water for a cup of tea. What is it about cooking outdoors that makes the food taste that little bit yummier? And, there’s nothing quite like sitting alone on the sand listening to the waves lapping the rocks while enjoying a brew that you’ve made over a fire – it’s primal! I just love that sensation of getting back to basics – of taking time to notice and appreciate the small things in the day and daily. I truly believe that when we reconnect with ourselves and the natural world in this simple way that born of that is the urge and passion to care for both – we only have this one life and this one earth after all.
I sat awhile, sipping my tea and allowed my mind to settle. Some deep cleansing breaths, letting anxious feelings float away and peace to come. I had a chat with a passer-by who was intrigued by the Kelly Kettle and had a laugh as his dog tried desperately to catch a bird with zero success! Then, I packed up my belongings and leisurely walked the length of the beach back to my car, returning home feeling so refreshed and nourished from just a few hours spent in nature.