Pregnant Potential - a walk in the woods

When I was pregnant with my daughter Eve, I went on a walk in the woods with the family dogs Bongo and Piglet. It was  a walk unlike any I had previously taken, for somewhere along the way I was no longer just me. I left Laura behind and became animal, pure, simple and sound. It opened up to me the sense of smell, but also expanded my sense of who I knew myself to be. This is my post about a little walk on the wild side...

Super No, Normal Yes

I remember the first time that I put my hearing aids on aged 23. I thought they were turned up to some super fine frequency as a test run - this is superpower hearing right? I asked the doctor and she looked at me and shook her head and said no, this is normal hearing. And I couldn't believe it: all these years I had been missing this? The fact that at first I could hear the swish of my hair when I walked and things rattling around in my bag. I could hear the conversations of others at tables nearby and best of all I could finally distinguish the words of all my favourite Rod Stewart songs.

 Here too in the woods, it was as if my sense of smell was being turned on, just as the other creatures can smell every single day.

Similarly  here on this walk in the woods, and somehow being pregnant I was tuning into senses that had laid dormant in me for too long. But now carrying my child I was being invited into a deeper appreciation of life. Forest smells included. For here, I was wolf, I was deer, I was dog - I was horse. What I mean is, I could smell - really smell. It was as if suddenly I was aware that there was a dialect in the wood and I wanted to be fluent. And as I crouched down on my knees and pressed my nose to soft green moss that padded the base of a tree stump I inhaled as deep as I could.

And so for one moment life brought to me, a compostic twang of twigs, a mulchment of leaves and muddy earth and dampness that was close to all out wetness and damn you need to use the word fecund because the whole thing was fecund, it was delicious and ripe and sweet - the musk of deer mingled with a smokiness tinged with the sweat of plants nearby and probably a bit of badger shit. I didn’t know the specifics. Only the incredible feeling of being so intimately turned on by the wonders of the forest I never knew existed.

And then I sat on a tree stump and looked around and Bongo came and sat near me and he looked around too. And I watched him. He’s got a soul that dog. And I wonder if we'll ever really know it.

And then we walked on and came to mud – wet, thick, sludgy wonderful dance in me even if you are not a hippo mud. But I didn’t. Instead I stood and remembered being a kid and walking barefoot through mud slathered holes in the country with a friend and the delight being as total as one can wish for. And then we walked, the three of us enjoying each others company.

We walked till we came to a part of the woods we don't normally visit where the long silver trees were cloistered closely together and their lime green leaves swayed softly in the breeze. I looked around and noticed the sculptures: the forgotten relics from the Queen of Hearts. For apparently after Alice left her she was so apalled and dismal at the way she had treated the young girl that she headed for the woods and started creating these compositions, hoping that one day Alice would find them and forgive her.

An Absent-Minded Queen

But the Queen is old and has become slightly forgetful. What are these woods? And who is Alice? So all that is left of her as she wonders off somewhere else are these sculptures, and every now and again one stumbles upon something of hers lying abandoned. Like one of her black heart's that we found. It was so small. It could only have come from her wrist.

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So we walked on, stumbling on sculpture after wonderful sculpture.

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Picture frames trying to contain uncontrollable art, that had roamed, curious of what lay beyond.

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And isolated clumps that were more then clumps, because seeing them you knew that great effort and care had gone into their placement.

Then Bongo saw a puddle and waded in, resting there for a moment. And overhead I heard a bird and I looked up and there was this brilliant purple light that shone right through the trees

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And when I looked down it had gone. The ability to smell and be animal was no more. I was no longer wolf, nor dog, nor horse, or deer.

I was human.

Some Things Never Leave Us

 But you know, the woods are here and I still go for walks - along with my companions.

And my daughter is born and sometimes she comes with us.

But mostly when I walk I walk with Bongo and Piglet, because of the stops and the way that we walk takes a rather long time. But if you feel like a walk, a wonderful walk, come lets go together. And we'll sniff and we'll stop and we can howl if you like, and wonder what else is right out there.

Because once sniffed, forever known.

Even if we pretend we forget.

Over to you!

Have you ever had an unusual experience walking in the woods? Please share your story in the comments below!

Fantoozles Trilogy: Part I

Fantoozles are extraordinary creatures. Their hair is every single colour you can think of and every single colour that exists. They’ve ears like butterfly wings and eyes that are brown and tiny. And they're faster then anyone on the land.

Fantoozles live in their Tatamalas: houses that dream, so that Fantoozles can dream.  And although no one knows what goes on in the dreams of Tatamalas, they are said to be quite wild.

Fantoozles loves their Tatamalas and when they come to build them, every single Fantoozle in Mahaboghi Land comes together to help.

There are diamond Tatamala’s, triangle Tatamala’s, spiral Tatamala's, Tatamala’s that look like pineapples and Tatamala’s that look like dinosaurs. There is also one that looks like a unicorn, whose horn points so far into the sky that when standing on the tip, it is said that you can see the whole world. 

Whilst building a new Tatamala the Fantoozles will sing and chant that one word for the entire period that it takes to complete it. Whether that be 3 weeks or 3 years. For when Fantoozles are building a Tatamala, the hours of the day are like ice on a rock, melting underneath the sun: they simply disappear.

“Tatamala, Tatamala, Tata-malatatamalatatamalatatamala.” And though they are tiny, Fantoozle voices can be as loud as the boom of an elephant. In fact they sing so loudly, it is as if every little blade of grass and every little leaf on every single tree seems to be booming along as well.As if this one word were the beat of their very hearts.

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And of course that is exactly what their homes are to them: the beat of a Fantoozle heart. For when Fantoozles go to bed at night in order to sleep and dream, they can only do so because their Tatamalas are dreaming too. 

But something is amiss in Mahaboghi Land. The badly behaved, (oh he’s terribly behaved) Lord Heshley had made himself Prime Minister. And as one of his first acts as PM he's banned the Tatamala’s from dreaming.

“We are Fantoozles! We don’t need these dreams anymore!” His PMship has declared on his favourite radio station: PM FM.

“It’s so much better not to dream! All this looking inwards! What nonsense I say! Life is for enjoying! For celebrating! Not for getting distracted by things that don’t matter. So, instead, may I suggest that we just focus on making Mahabogi Land, the very best of all!” For this is his PMship’s No.1 favourite game: how to make Mahabogi Land 'The Very Best of all!'


“Things can always be better!” He says. “We need our sleep! Proper and deep. And nothing must intrude on that time.”

Now the only way to stop the Tatamalas from dreaming is to take away Tatamala Unicorn. So the Dancing Deer, his Lordiships bodyguards have banished her away and all across Mahaboghi Land the Tatamalas have stopped dreaming. Their rainbow hair has turned dull and blank, the colour of a gloomy day and their brown little eyes are bloodshot and grey. And even their butterfly wings hang loosely by their heads drooping like a willow trees leaves.

But even though all Fantoozles are under strict instructions never to mention their Tatamalas, things that are banished have a way of remaining in our minds, even if some would rather they didn’t. And so it is that if you listen carefully, you will hear whispers of hope dancing in the breeze amongst the golden leaves.

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Whispers that are getting louder and louder....

For Part II - please click here