I think I must define some parameters, a few ‘wills’ and ‘will nots’, which is a bit difficult with all the ideas jostling for space in my head.
Perhaps some aims would be more constructive?
I want to be well, or as the Book of Common Prayer says, ‘to renew a right spirit within me’, which is a beautiful and succinct way of expressing the desire to be at peace with oneself and the wider surroundings.
I want to live so closely with the Land, the Countryside, Nature (??) that I experience the rhythm of the seasons and can see, smell, touch the changes which go with the seasons. I have an idea that this disconnection, which is part of modern living, is at the root of some of our collective malaise.
I want to grow more of what we eat, and to forage what can’t be grown due to the short seasons and stony soil. I want to learn more about the growing habits of edible and medicinal plants too, and any others which would have been common in the past…preferably without poisoning either myself or my family!
I want to find out more about the country ways, how they evolved and what needs to be kept and remembered against the future- and how I’ll do that I don’t know.
I want to use the camera to keep a record of what there is to see; to see beauty in the everyday and the mundane, not for the sake of ‘art’ but simply because it’s there and I can.
August is a pretty daft time to start such an Experiment, is it not? The end of the growing season, of the Summer, and the beginning of Autumn and the drift into cold and dark. I have always loved Autumn and also Winter, the bleakness, the low sun, the appearance of bare trees and branches against the sky, and the way one can see so much further without any leaves on. I love watching the rain blow up the valley, and sitting by the fire on a stormy night. I don’t like the nor’easterlies we get up in the mountains here, but at least my Rowan tree is good and strong so there’ll be no witches blown into this house!
Yes, August is not really the best time to begin. Have you ever looked at the date of some important event or historical achievement and thought, ‘isn’t that an odd day to have done….?’ It took me the best part of secondary school to figure that history is a progression, and the likes of Walter Raleigh and Henry the Navigator weren’t necessarily looking at the calendar when they finally achieved their dreams.
Not that I rate myself among such august company, it’s just an observation! So, August it is, and so the Experimental Year shall begin…
Two things I need to get this week though, before I start hiking around the bogs and glens- a decent pair of shoes, and a waterproof raincoat, neither of which I own, odd as it may seem.
Job numero uno!