I’d always regarded myself as an outdoorsy kind of person – walking, gardening, camping, an appreciation for the natural environment are huge parts of who I am. My spirit, my soul. But my outdoorsy life came to a juddering halt just over two years ago, with the birth of our wonderful son. For the first time in decades I was stuck inside with a tiny child, alone but not alone.
That’s not to say we didn’t venture out, we did. To church halls and cafes, where kind people told us to sit and relax and to eat cake. In early parenthood you do need to sit, you spend a lot of time sitting. Sitting is good and necessary. But I didn’t feel nourished, I felt disconnected. The cake made me feel lethargic and stodgy. I longed to be outside. I started asking on social media if anyone knew of any carer and baby groups that were based outside, with no joy. I started trying to organise pushchair walks in my local area, but we were limited to suburban pavements. I just wanted to, needed to, do anything to get myself and my tiny child outside more.
Things have changed since those days, now I have a toddler we go to forest schools and adventurous walks. We are beginning to be outside nearly every single day. Rain or shine (mainly rain, this is Britain). We both love it. We both need it. And I have learnt that small people (and big people) thrive outside. We do not need to wait for an invitation. I do genuinely believe though, a lack of interaction with the natural environment in the early days of parenthood had a detrimental impact on my mental health.
Which is one of the reasons why I am so pleased to see that one of my favourite bloggers (and friend) Lucy has written a new book, 30 Days of Rewilding. Her book, which is broken down in to 30 short chapters for the time-poor, includes inspirational stories about how people have reconnected with the natural environment, they have rewilded their lives. And each chapter ends with an idea of how you can get some more ‘wild’ in to your everyday lives. This is the beauty of Lucy’s book, the concept of rewilding is not just for those living alternative lifestyles, it is for those of us who’s lifestyles are rather more semi-detached. It’s for everyone.
“Head into nature today and carve time out there each week, trusting, really trusting, that you will be changed for the better. The wilderness is in our DNA and we will come truly alive when surrounded by those ancient woods, earth underfoot and the canopy of the universe above us. We can begin to heal this deep split between ourselves and earth right now, this very moment, by taking our families by the hand and stepping into nature. The solace we discover there will restore us.” – Lucy AitkenRead, 30 Days of Rewilding