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  • Rosalind J.Turner

Human / Nature - Connect Homecoming

Updated: Oct 6, 2023



This.

Pure Magic and Enchantment!

27 minutes walk up hill from Rydal Hall in Ambleside in the Lake District.

This is Buckstons Jump.


One afternoon, and three mornings before 7am.

I swam here.

It was one of the most wonderful places I have swum.

Cool, crystal clear water, cascading down from the hills.


I was fortunate to be offered a bursary place on this,

'myths, firesouls and song' Human-Nature Connect Residency, Ambleside, 11 - 14 June 2023


Arriving Sunday and leaving on Wednesday.

The weather was hot, still and sunny, every single day.

19 humans gathered, many countries, one planet.


We talked.

We swapped stories

We danced

We listened

We sang

We walked

We swam (albeit not all of us)

We played games

We paid attention

We ate together


And for 4 days and 3 nights, we became one large world family.


And now . . . reflecting back on those precious few days.

That time out of time.

I realised . . .


I was the closest to home I had been for some years.




This realisation led to my looking more closely at my journey to this point.

To those early wild calls or as John Masefield would say in his lovely poem, Sea Fever.


"I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky"


What I discovered was so many of my life choices have been governed by my desire to be outside, in nature, and/or connected very viscerally with the stuff of life.

With the elements of earth, air, water and fire.

Of bodies in their full expression of their human-nature.


So for you, and for me, here is a small herstory. . . .




My love of nature and my desire to connect more deeply, began at an early age.

Growing up by the sea.

The Humber Estuary to be precise.

I would frequently escape my troublesome home life.

Running alongside the seashore with a canine companion at my heels.

Hours lost and found again on those windswept beaches.

Its in the very blood and bone of me.



Looking towards Cleethorpes from Humberston



My early teens saw me riding.

Learning to be with the more-than-human.

Through that extraordinary relationship that humans have built with horses over thousands of years.

Astride a range of bay, piebald, grey and chestnut mounts, I was offered multiple awe inspiring moments.

All manner of fauna will not run from a horse as they would a human . . .


Just shy of my 20th birthday.

The elements called my name.

Earth, Fire, Water and Air came knocking.


Apprenticed in a small studio pottery in Lincolnshire.

Practicing daily the throwing of clay into pots.

Mastering (or should that be mistressing) brush decoration, and marking the beginnings

of my long standing fascination with Chinese and Japanese Brushes.

Then tending them through that alchemical process that transforms clay into ceramic.

I was in love!

But love, as we know, is not a fixed nor static thing,



My itchy feet eventually led me to pastures new.

A new passion.

Outdoor events, specifically, festivals.

Nights partying under stars.

Falling asleep to rain on canvas.

Countless days striding over turf.

'Walkie Talkie' strapped to my belt.



Yes, long before mobile phones, there really was such a time . . .

Ashton Court Festival



Feet on earth.

Sun on face.

Snatches of music, laughter and conversation on the breeze . . .

Even with all of its myriad challenges,

AND,

Perhaps in part because of them,

A festival life suited me well.

It was really, truly, quite magnificent.



Fast forward.

I am being nature.


Now a parent.


Teaching my small son the joys of the great outdoors.

Daily doning our wellies and waterproofs or sunhat and sandals as the weather dictates.

We head out to the woods.

Another canine companion at our heels.

And repeat.

And repeat.

And repeat.



Our mutual love of the elements and dogs lives on . . .





Life seems to speed up exponentially.

Pausing occasionally,

Like punctuation.

To deliver delicious moments of stasis.

Felt in every fibre of my being when I swim outside.


Further training added to my ample kit bag..

Designed and delivered various walking and talking programmes within Bristol, I delivered walks from an eco-psychology perspective. And worked as a freelance facilitator at Schumacher College in Devon.



The bestest of days combining walking and swimming.




23rd June 2016

The UK has voted to leave Europe

Much of the country is bereft


September 2016 ~ After 9 months of planning, we are finally away Resurgence 50 Walk






January 2017 ~ 3 months of ideas, call outs and meetings, the visual and visceral experience that was Bravery School had begun.



It was rich, exciting, stretching, rewarding and definitely very tiring.

BUT . . . coupled with primarily solo parenting . . .

I was starting to fade.

Initially buoyed up by another project of designing and running a cabaret evening,

I continued

UNTIL . . .





Now it's autumn 2017, and simoultaneously my son is 17.

I have become increasingly myopic.

Parenting a teen.

Almost single handed.

I am slowing becoming ill.


Not an earth shattering/life changing illness.

Simply cumulatively tired beyond tired.


So tired.

Dog tired.

Bone tired.

Dead tired.

Energy-less.

Grumpy

Grouchy

and.

Short fused


I realise I need to to switch up my daily life.

I withdraw from some of my creative practice.

I begin to dial back on pitching for work.

I steadily decrease my projects.


AND BREATHE . . .


I turn to regular commercial driving to keep the wolf, almost, from the door.

The sheer beauty and magic of driving through landscapes.

Whatever the weather

An unexpected food for my oh so tired soul.





My capacity continues to diminish.

I swim and I drive.

2017 gives way to 2018.

The demands of parenting and adulting play on.

I continue to fall.


Childhood trauma begins to re-emerge.

I feel as if I am carrying a great weight.

I am still swimming and driving.

I try to keep working on a joint project.

I feel broken.


I have definitely lost my wings . . .





It's February 2019.

The demands of parenting, now definately solo, cranking up.

The sheer weight of unsupported adulting . . .

Crushing


I am snappy.

I have very little capacity.

I feel anchored to the floor.


May 2019.

A project that was planned to have 3 weekend workshops across the summer

Only has one.


I continue to swim and drive.

I cling to them both like a woman drowning.

Unexpected lifelines.

I continue my descent.

Domestic chaos reigns.



Then March 2020.




That unlooked for global pause.

An opportunity to stop.

Have a break.

Take your temperature!


I continued to drive.

I am now a key worker.

A temporary hero or should that be heroine . . .




June 2020

A short reprieve.

I am beginning to feel a shade better.

Sunshine.

Walking and cycling with my son

Eating fresh food.

Yes, I am beginning to feel a shade better


I join the great, the good and those out to change history.


Bristol takes the knee and Colston is finally toppled off his perch.






Its autumn 2020

I finally recognise that what I am struggling with is burn out.

I continue to drive.

I'm back to swimming regularly.

I feel my feet on the grass.

I am grateful to friends who get it

Colleagues who offer support

I begin to put things in place for my recovery.


It takes nearly three years juggling work, R&D, swimming, bodywork, therapy and rest, https://www.rosalindjturner.org/post-parenting-recovery

I am nearly there, not quite, but nearly.








Spring / Summer 2023 and I am beginning to feel more like me.

An older, wiser, and definitely more measured me, but me.

I am finally, almost, completely well.

Still wrestling with some of the more major administrative fall out from putting my health and wellbeing centre stage.

But, I am almost, completely well.

Very nearly . . .



A birthday dip in Borth, Ceredigion, Wales, March 2023



Preparing to step back out into the world.

Familiar practices dusted off and married with my latest learning.

New projects in the making

I am ready . . .







Thank you to everyone who came to Ambleside, especially to lead facilitators Andrea and Alex of Intercultural Roots, and guests Julia Lux and Marije Nie, all of you helped in different ways to remind me what a joy it is to reconnect, and finally, thank you to Bruno Rocha for your evocative film.



Looking through the lens of Human, Nature, Connect.












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