This month hasn’t been what I planned. Ok, so I know it isn’t over yet, but recently I have been worried that , if the first half has been anything to go by, the next half isn’t going to live up to my expectations either.
Since last years #30DaysWild , which pretty much marked the real beginning of my blogging experience, I have been looking forward to June 2017. What new things would I discover? Would there be new wildlife spotted on the farm? Will I meet more wildlife enthusiasts? But, like all of the best laid plans…it hasn’t quite gone the way I had hoped. My ‘weird turns’ are still occurring, and I still don’t know what they are. Despite being on antiepileptic medication, and I am struggling to enjoy normal everyday life the way I should. When I’ve had a weird turn, I am in pain and exhausted for hours if not days after. My memory is affected- I forget words, names and everyday data- like phone numbers and passwords. Its really annoying! Worst of all is not being able to write or read. I can’t concentrate, cant find the energy to find the words.From the outside looking in, people can’t tell how much it affects me. Much like my battles with mental health.
Today I spent a lot of the morning asleep, and the afternoon looking after the mini farmers. By 6.30pm I remembered #30DaysWild….but I hadn’t got the energy to think up a ‘random act’, or the inclination to tap the random act app on my phone. Instead I just took the girls outside, let them play in the sunshine whilst I sat and watched.
My chosen spot was on the patio next to my herb patch. The garden in general is looking pretty wild and neglected at the minute, and the herb patch is no exception. The fennel stands at about 2ft high, its liquorice scented fronds covered with aphids.The lavender shoots are not far behind, and the lemonbalm has spread out horizontally. The nasturtiums I have grown from seed are also sending their tendrils out sideways, and bursting into flower. The bees adore them, and I sat watching as one fat white tailed bumble bee laconically gathered nectar from the gold and orange trumpet shaped flowers.
Next to the herb patch is my washing up bowl pond. It didn’t start out as a pond, just a water butt to collect rain from a broken down pipe, saving me having to go far to fetch water for the plants. Now it is home to 4 tiny, still legless, voraciously hungry tadpoles. From my vantage point I can see one flicking about on the surface, gulping air, before disappearing under a shard of terracotta i added for cover. They have cleared the copious amounts of fly larvae from the pond, and I cant wait until they grow up and start making a dent on the slugs that have decapitated my lupin, shredded my centaurea and are now waging war on my strawberry plants.
After five minutes of sitting here, and snapping a few shots of passing wild things with my iPhone I realised that actually, this is what ’30 days’ is really about. There is no set curriculum, no need for grandiose schemes. Interactions with nature can be small and simple – just taking a minute to watch a bee fly from flower to flower in search of nectar, or following a butterfly around the garden… and tick…task completed for the day. You don’t need fancy equipment- my big regret last year was not getting good enough photos. This year the majority of wild photos are on my iphone. You don’t even need to be able to get outside, with webcams and wildlife books, journals or online courses. Of course you can go further afield, spend whole days immersing yourself in the wild or creating grander and more elaborate ways to complete your random act of wildness for the day. But you don’t have to.
Which has lead me to realise. I haven’t ‘wasted’ this month. It has not been a ‘failure’ because it hasn’t lived up to the expectations I set from last year. It has been different. Small achievable goals are actually good- good for my mental health and good for my general health. Up until now, I didn’t think that my acts that I have managed on days when I haven’t blogged have been worthy of writing about. I didn’t think they were exciting enough, or even constituted a ‘random act’. I’m glad i’ve realised I was wrong in my thinking.