Venturing into the deep dark wood.

Week 12: Embrace Nature - I will spend ten minutes of every day in nature, somewhere green.

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As a born and bred city girl, woods had never really been my thing. Up to a few years ago my brief experience with them largely consisted of Duke of Edinburgh treks and being lost, wet and hungry. My place of comfort was the water, I lived it, breathed it and for a large part of my life was never far from it. Now though, although I will always be a water babe, I love my woods and the many things it unstintingly gives me.

Our woods aren’t ancient, so there are no stories or folklore to give them a sense of grandeur, mysticism or awe. Nor are they particularly dense, crisscrossed as they are with the well-trodden paths used by ramblers, dog walkers and joggers alike. In fact, calling them a wood is likely quite generous but for a city girl, the first time I walked through them, I was amazed and felt transported to somewhere else altogether. Everything quietened and took on a softer hue, your pace automatically slowed, your body relaxed and your mood lightened in response. This unplanned first visit, was a kind hand of fate, as it caused me to be more relaxed and substantially less apprehensive of buying a house in a location that I had never heard about, miles from anyone I knew but which i subsequently love and would be sad to leave.

Now, as can only be expected, the woods are like a best friend, always there and always ready to be what I need them to be. Calm and peaceful for the days when I need an escape and a place to think, adventurous and fun-loving when it’s time to go Gruffalo and Stick-man hunting, challenging and motivating as I run through them. It’s a place that helps ground you to your life and makes you grateful for what you have.

Unfortunately, like Mark, I have been suffering from a hideous cold this week and so I haven’t been able to complete the challenge properly but even though I may not have got the benefits of this week, I know I can get them next week and the week after and for as long as I will be living here and that makes me happy.



I currently live in London but having been born in Canada, lived in Nigeria until my early teens and schooled in Scotland, if you ask me where I am from, I will struggle for a quick answer. I am an excellent self-saboteur and use humour and a practiced laissez-faire attitude as a shield to having to address difficult situations properly. The ‘Great Wake Up’ is me, finally trying to step clear of my overdeveloped protective mechanisms, and to start to interact as closely and honestly to life around me and enjoy myself whilst doing so.


Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
over 5 years ago
Reading your post made me feel very relaxed, I got lost in it. I totally agree with you about being transported somewhere else when in these places of natural beauty, they have amazing power. I also agree they are like a friend (does this mean we are both becoming hippies? I do hope not!). I really loved this post and hope you get rid of your cold quickly (antibiotics are helping me). All the best Mark
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
over 5 years ago
I also felt very relaxed and loving the thought of the woods being ' like a best friend', you can be who you want to be. Bravo! Thank you C x
Go to the profile of Vicki
over 5 years ago
Thanks guys, I really mean it.
Go to the profile of Vanessa
over 5 years ago
Vicki, your post transported me! Woods are my favourite place on earth and, sadly, the bit of nature that's not on offer where I live, so thanks for the virtual tour! Hope you're feeling better as well.