Today I have been witness to a fairytale and paid my bills all by 9am. I woke with a sigh, my recent sculpture is challenging me and I'm on a time limit. I'm irritable and this usually leads to despair so I decide to walk before the gremlins gather at my desk with their clashing spoons and bad manners. My intention is to go to the river. Trying to capture a swirl of water in my vision and follow it downstream never fails to soothe me.
There is a small gap between the towering himalayan balsam and as I slip through I disturb some foraging bees, white with the invasive pollen. Ghost bees emerging from deceptively sweet pink flowers. Stepping across the pebbled bank I feel like I am instantly in another world. A million miles from my neighbours screaming rows and the constant groaning of multiplying new-builds. Here weed charms the rocks, flowing silently above the rivers bones in a hypnotic dance. Pulling my gaze away I notice a scuffed up sandy mound with three dark shapes upon it. I instantly recognise it as otter spraint. I get down on my hands and knees no longer caring for my freshly washed jeans and inhale deeply. It is unmistakably otter, people say its like jasmine tea but I have never tried it so can't compare. To me it just smells like otter and the mysteries of a night I will never know. Contained within are feather, bone and scales. A tantalising view into the lives of these secretive souls.
Triumphantly I emerge from my weedy wonder into the field. My smile speaks of gold but to the shocked dog walker I obviously look like a crazed woman as she drags her collie closer and tuts off at pace whilst gasping down the phone.
I decide to try the next hidden gateway only this ones a little steeper and instead of effortlessly flowing like the silk of an otter I stumble like a dropped bag of potatoes.
Immediately my senses are caught by a shrill shriek that cuts through my breath, Kingfisher!
I have sat in this spot many times awaiting a royal appearance and if I'm lucky I have been treated to the paint streak of blue. I cannot believe my eyes when I turn to follow the sound to a branch just a few meters from me. She sits bobbing her head her beauty so dramatic its as if someone has placed a painting before me. It's not until she dives and returns with the tiniest of silver treasures that I realise she is real and I am here. Her fierce eye closes for the briefest of moments as she snaps her head back to swallow her now despatched treasure and she takes off against the flow.
I return home in overwhelming awe and decide to avoid the copse with its attached planning notice. Today I want to bury my head in the memory of earthy river scent and magic meetings for just a little longer. My blood beats hard in my veins as I chase the blue all the way back to my door.
It is time to rest those weary bones on the earth and enjoy the peace of this magical place. This is a place I have known for a very long time and have gratefully been gifted the ability to recreate the creatures that reside here in wool, thread and words.
I really hope that my sculptures bring you joy and that my blog posts about
The Whispering Wild and my life within it inspire you to help open your heart to my wild and creative life.
Much love and magic xx