August 31, 2011

Abriachan Forest & tiny houses . . .

Such a magical place we discovered 
tiny wooden houses tucked amongst the trees
( child sized & perfect) 
a loo with a heather covered roof!  
 a rainbow of patterned bird boxes & wooden hangings 
made in the forest school classroom
Gruffalo houses for tiny folk
(I so wanted to crawl in)
and my favourite the round house, 
a Celtic bronze age dwelling made from stone, hazel & reeds
(i just had to sit inside & let my imagination fly) 

"In 1998 the community purchased 534 hectares of forest and open hill ground from Forest Enterprise.  Since then, as a social enterprise, the Abriachan Forest Trust has managed this land to  create local employment, improve the environment and encourage it's enjoyment by the public through  a network of spectacular paths, family suited mountain bike trails and innovative education  opportunities." 

 A wonderful project with such exciting teaching and learning opportunities for all.

It took me back to remembering. . .
childhood hours playing in the forest near grandma's house
the smell of damp earth, the feel of raindrops through the trees
and the memory of all things foresty x

August 23, 2011

Into the highlands and a path unseen . . .

Where have we been . . . 
in the hills in a tucked amongst the trees tiny log cabin 
venturing out and exploring the wild & beautiful Scottish highlands  
discovering the sights of Drumnadrochit & Abriachan forest, 
the faerietale places of Glen Affrick and of course Loch Ness.  
 Under incredible skies, both sun tinted and stormy. 
Such feasting for our eyes, so peaceful and unspoilt.
We have walked & talked, been rested & invigorated,
felt ourselves connecting back to nature & things that matter most.
Precious and much needed time out, the why is told below. 
I noticed a recurring item on Facebook recently that intrigued me, folk posting "Depression is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign that you have been trying to be strong for too long.  Put this on your status if you know someone who has or has had depression. . .” as I read more I was moved to see so many eloquent responses on this so misunderstood subject. 

I used to think my "blues" (depression) was a huge sign of weakness, didn’t want a soul to know fearing I would be judged.  I didn’t remember the stresses in my life that had pushed me into that dark place; I should have given myself a pat on the back but no, I though “weak” and fought hard against it, making things so very much worse.  

Many years later, I have slowly learnt to stop fighting, and months can pass when I completely forget my "blueness”.  It still creeps up on me from time to time, I land with a bump and realise I forgot to be on the lookout, hadn't noticed I was pushing myself to hard, the growing lethargy, disconnection, disinterest. 

 I am learning that this “blueness” makes me who I am. When I have a patch of "hyper" it is amazing!  I overflow with inspiration, ideas & energy, my eyes are wide open, I am in a good place, the world shines.

I have learnt that when the bump happens I have to step aside, be quiet, still & small & slowly make my shape again, hence my "time out" such as the post above.  I have learnt to recognise the things that keep me afloat; walking in nature, meditation, my “5 precious things a day”, writing and re-pacing myself.  Remembering & accepting again my own boundaries, ( though this is frustrating at times for a stubborn soul like me) I always emerge finally, blinking into the sunlight , knowing that each step makes me stronger, as I re-assess & start to love life all over again.

In all its shapes & forms, depression is very real (though I have met many who would disagree), it is scary and it can be debilitating. I have written this post for all those out there who recognise this place,  we need to remember we are not alone, not insane, just a little crazy at times.  Hold your head up high and say this is me.

A bit of a serious post this, but a subject very near to my heart.  I see and hear of so many friends & family who have found themselves at some time in this place.  It affects 1 in 4 of us at some time, yet it is still so misunderstood. I am fighting the cause ;-)

ps: Whilst we were away "5 blog" passed its 3rd birthday . . . already!  Wherever does time fly to!  Thank you to all, it has truly been a wonderful, moving, unexpected journey and sharing it with such lovely folks as yourselves makes it even more precious. x x x