Spiral galaxy of a wild carrot flower head

The workshop on Saturday went really well. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny with occasional breezes to cool us down. Everyone who came along seemed committed to getting the best out of the day. After lunch I did a visualisation I call the Web of Life, based on a script by Joanna Macy. It took everyone off to a very deep place. I began to wonder if anyone was going to get up after lying on the forest floor for so long in complete stillness.

In a one day workshop you can only do so much and there always a desire in me to keep things slow and well paced. What it means is that some things have to be dropped out of the schedule if I want to go with where people are at on the day. I’m feeling more and more that I would like to do a longer workshop, maybe a weekend, to take the process to an ever deeper level. Going beyond a day brings up practical issues like accommodation which a one day workshop can avoid. Does anyone have any suggestions for a suitable venue?

I’ve decided to offer one more workshop this year on the 19 September. http://www.andymcgeeney.com/workshops/ After that the next one will probably be in May 2016. I am hoping to run a workshop next year in the North of England if there is enough interest. In previous years the Sheffield workshops have been well attended.

WIN walk 22 July – Eating the countryside

We had some new people today come along and try out ecotherapy for themselves. On the way to the river I noticed a big patch of fennel in flower so I suggested everyone tried a bit to smell and eat. While the group were doing that I spotted a big patch of wild rocket, so we had a nibble of that – much hotter than bought rocket. We talked about the fact that all our vegetables come from wild relatives which very often we can still find in the countryside: carrots, lettuce, mustard and cress are examples.

It is good to be reminded that once upon a time and not too long ago all of us lived entirely off food in the countryside. We were hunter gatherers with an emphasis on the gathering aspect, most of the time. Our ancestors ate a healthy diet and lived well. They died earlier than us because of disease. I seem to remember reading last year that archaeologists reckon, on the basis of what they have found, that Mesolithic people used some plants for taste rather than pure nutrition, I.e spices.

Imagine living in a world where a significant part of your surroundings are edible – enough to live on easily. They would have had a much more intimate connection to nature as a result. And they would have not needed to work for most of the time like we do. Mesolithic people, it has been estimated, only needed to work the equivalent of 2-3 days a week to live. The rest of the time was for socialising and cultural activities. I’m not advocating going backwards but these thoughts can liberate our thinking about our current work obsessions and the possibility of a more fulfilling life in the future.