In world mythology, almost without exception, the earth has been depicted as female and the sky as male. It’s easy to see why. The bounty of the earth grows from fertile soil by the rains that fall from the sky.
But I say “almost” because for the ancient Egyptians it was the other way around, the earth was male and the sky was female. The famous statue of Geb (God of the Earth) is unmistakably masculine and arched above by a naked statue of his sister Nut.
It’s hard to understand how the ancient Egyptians could have missed this trick. Not only is there an obvious resemblance to the feminine earth being fertilized by empty (*ahem*) fluids, but there is also the feminine curve of the earth. And now we are in the Spring, the Earth is beginning to be born and things are growing, evolving and developing. Just like Geb “stood up”.
In winter, even though there is still noticeable cold, the days are longer, making it easier to go for long walks. Embrace the cold and feel the bones under your skin, the blood gushing through your veins like spring buds, the tree sap, the emerging colors.
My spring begins when I hear my first Chiffchaff. Everyone has heard of this bird, but it is rarely seen due to its perched perch and dull brown color. Another symbol of spring, the cuckoo is becoming increasingly rare. It’s a bigger bird than you might think (about the size of a collared pigeon) and is often seen as a sign of spring. We haven’t heard anything this season yet (he’s in mid-February as of this writing, so don’t expect much), but expect to hear one or two. Just one or two, remember. Lizard and Adder have awakened. The male gets out of bed first. For poikilotherms, they are well suited to escape the slight warmth of the sun. I am happy to say that the Downs area I go to has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, that’s not the case everywhere.
Birds have started chirping. A great spotted woodpecker can be heard yelling “Chips!” from the top of the tree. Chips! Chips! Chips! Thrush has been chirping for some time now, a phrase he repeats three times. It sounds to me like “Who are you?” Who are you? Who are you? In between each one, I try to answer immediately, “You are Eel-Thrush…you are Eel-Thrush…You are Eel-Thrush.” It makes me happy, but my partner gives me a supportive yet withering smile when I do it.
Here for the past week or so, the cypresses have been blooming. It can appear as early as February and has large patches of small yellow flowers on bends in straight sun-filled roads.
Flora and fauna are beginning to thrive again, helping the countryside to become wild again. In doing so, we begin to go wild again. Realizing this creates the kind of excitement and excitement you feel when you first realize you’re in love with someone. Some people collect birch sap and drink it straight, ferment it into wine, or boil it down into syrup. This work is usually done around March. This is because it is the time when tree sap begins to rise with spring. Be careful if you do this. Done incorrectly, it can cause infection in the tree and lead to its extinction. Spring brings all these traditions into our lives and activities.
It is no mere coincidence that as plants and animals grow, so do we. Our social life grows, our interactions grow, our imagination grows. The winter has passed, the period of solitude and introspection has passed, and we think and act in silos, talk to ourselves and so on, and make little effort to engage outside of ourselves.
Spring is here, so let’s take a look outside. Go out with your friends, family and pets. When we throw a ball for our dog, we are throwing a ball for ourselves. It reminds us of how we acted as children, how we see that child in our pet, felt joy and longed for childlike fun. Yet we manage to stop chasing the ball. It comforts you and gives you a punch at the same time.
Spring is therefore a Renaissance, a time of exploration and renewal. Take the time to walk a route that you haven’t walked in a while and see how it has changed and whether there are new colors or sounds. Yes, it may be cold, but it warms up quickly. Like a feather on the breath of God, it just wanders without direction. Listen for the twinkling of the greenfinch, the colored specks of snowdrops and celandines, and the heavy breathing as they ascend and descend the hills. Burn your lungs and thighs to remind yourself how temporary and mortal you are.
You may be sitting around a campfire, sipping a mug of hot chocolate, watching the fire quietly breathe oxygen and give birth to twins – comfort and calm. Flame light makes everything feel dark. But you soon find yourself seeing things you’ve never seen before. Darkness comes to life. Looking at the flame entrains everything past, present and future. Look into the fire and you’ll see where we’re all headed. It’s the sound of the ocean when you’re already in the ocean. Like a kiss that leaves you speechless. Calm down.
I started my outdoor career in live-action role-playing, camping in the woods with a foam rubber sword.
Living in the countryside, we were always surrounded by nature. During the school summer holidays, our mothers would go fruit picking and we would spend some time camping, exploring, scrambling, using our hands on the farm to ride a tractor, and spending time on the farm. spent
Then Ray Mears came along and we started doing it properly.
Coming from an artistic background, I have always been interested in how we see the world through the lens of a camera or through our minds.
My time is spent walking the chalk roads of the North Downs, a living part of a real living landscape. The connection between our own existence and being part of the environment as much as everything we see shapes my view of bushcraft.