So this post is a month late, I had written it the day after we got home but wasn't able to go through the photos and make it live until now, it's been a crazy busy month! But here it is:
We just got back yesterday (Sunday) from our second camping trip of the year (April 14-22) and it was one of the best weeks of my life. I feel so completely energized & renewed. We ended up staying 8 nights and every single day brought with it its own magic, inspirations & heart-spilling-over moments.
We arrived on the Saturday and besides just a couple of other campers we were the only ones there but by the following Monday we had the space completely to ourselves again, I just couldn't believe how perfect it all was. It's such a different experience when you can just be where you are rather than having to hike somewhere before you are not surrounded by people and there was just something so magical about being there completely on our own, we were able to feel & connect with the landscape differently, we became acquainted with everything that surrounded us such as the trees, the plants, the animals & insects in such a deeper way. There were no distractions. All of our days were slow, we’d allow each moment and experience to flow into the next without any resistance, we were like the leaves blowing in the wind going wherever the wind took us. For me whenever I get to have this kind of experience for an extended period, it feels like I’m in a space where my unconscious becomes conscious. It’s a state of being and a state of mind where I feel utterly and truly connected to all of life.
The whole week I kept becoming inspired and kept experiencing so many beautiful feelings and then it hit me that these experiences are no longer a one off or rare experience, we get to experience this way of being regularly, this is now our life. This is why we moved from London one year ago (I can’t quite believe it’s been a year!) so that we'd be able to create a new lifestyle for us, one that speaks to our heart and souls.
During our time in the woods Nixies love for worms and insects went to a whole new level & our days were mostly spent looking for worms, slugs, insects, tadpoles and even fish. It's amazing to think that last year she was terrified of worms but now she just cannot get enough of them!
One of my favourite moments was when we ended up going on this epically long walk and we came across a little beetle, she got so incredibly excited and wanted to hold it straight away (last year it would have taken her ages before she’d feel ready for that!) and she even named her Star (Star seems to be her name of choice for everyone she names at the moment!). We hung out with Star for at least 20 minutes and eventually she said goodbye and we were able to continue our journey. But maybe 10 minutes later she found a “superworm” and she cradled this little worm as if it was the most precious being in existence creating a little tent for it in her hand so that it wouldn’t be in the sun, calling it her friend and telling her how nice she was but while holding it she was also holding onto her balance bike and at some point she managed to lose her (she was able to hold on to her for at least 10 min) and when this happened she was devastated! She was so so sad that she lost her friend that she was going to reunite her with her mummy. In that moment of her very big feelings I was so moved and inspired by her overwhelming love for this little worm, it was so beautiful.
Another new thing she started wanting to do was to follow the bees. I’d never really thought about where they are going until she wanted to know. Whenever we’d see one we would have to try to follow it wherever it went, we would go in circles around trees, crawl on all fours at times to go under a branch and sometimes even having to cross streams back and forth & it was such an incredible laughter-inducing thing to do, I highly recommend it!
I think it was her new confidence with the slugs that probably impressed me the most. I have always been repulsed by slugs, I have no issue with snails, but slugs have the power to just make me shudder & recoil. I have always made sure I never let her know my fear because I didn't want it to become hers but on this trip she really got me to step out of my comfort zone by having to hold them all of the time and amazingly I'm no longer repulsed by them! I can even go as far as saying I think they're kind of cute! Last summer she would not have anything to do with them and at the start of our week she would only hold the tiniest ones and wouldn't set them free until we found her mummy and you'd be surprised how incredibly hard it can be to find one when you're actually looking for one! As the week progressed she got braver and braver holding bigger and bigger slugs. But it wasn't until the very last day when she became brave enough to hold really big ones! It was amazing, she even strokes them as if they were a little puppy! I think watching her curiosity, and seeing her confidence and bravery grow so much in such a short space of time has to be one of the most incredible things I've ever been able to witness.
We also spent hours upon hours everyday at this one little pond/giant puddle watching tadpoles. I never knew I could be so enthralled by tadpoles, that is definitely a gift of motherhood: to be able to be completely present and absorbed by all that goes on in a tiny pond. I found myself completely mesmerized by all that was going on in this little ecosystem.
Another wonderful experience we had, especially during the first 5 days when we still had the space mostly to ourselves was really getting to know the deers pattern. We saw them every single day at the same time and in the same place, it’s the same group of deer we first got acquainted with during our last camping trip which includes the most beautiful white deer. I couldn’t help but feel such a deep connection to them and whenever they would see us they didn’t run away instead they just continued their daily journey and activities without a care in the world.
Nixie is a true nature girl, she's so happy in the woods and so am I. I love being with her like this, its my favourite. We both feel at home. She’s so different to last year. This trip has felt so much easier, ok so we have had to make some adjustments such as getting a windbreak to work as an enclosure around our tent which to be honest isn’t my most favourite thing but it allows for peaceful cooking without her running off. It feels so much easier. The games and things she's interested in has really changed in a year, she’s become so much more curious and interested in our surroundings wanting to learn about everything, it’s so incredible and she’s able to be so absorbed with what’s she's doing in such a different way, things can capture her attention for hours and her imagination seems to sky rocket everyday! We spent lots of hours playing in ditches too (she was so happy to be able to play in her ditch again!), taking turns chasing each other through the woods as a mud monster, or searching for the big bad mouse. There were also lots of moments (as usual) of making friends with dogs and other little people.
On this one afternoon she made friends with this little boy who was maybe 8 months older and he became so impressed with her little backpack and its bug collecting contents which made them instant friends! It was the sweetest thing, he spent a couple of hours with us as we were turning over logs looking for bugs and even came with us to check out the tadpoles. They had a truly beautiful connection right from the start. That’s one of the things I love about camping life: all the random people you meet from all over the place.
During the week I had a few big experiences that felt absolutely mystical, the first one was when she had her first sleep in the woods of the year with the most beautiful afternoon light shining down on her, it was straight out of a scene of a fairytale, so idyllic. I was in a state of awe of how beautiful that precise moment was, my whole being was taking everything in from my surroundings and my heart felt overflowing in streams of energy that radiated pure love and absolute peace, I felt so still yet so vibrant and full of movement.
When she slept I sat against another tree just a few metres away and the energy I felt was incredible but indescribable, I was being held and hugged by a great oak. I felt its energy flowing through my whole body, I could feel the trees vibration. I could feel it strengthening my own personal power, my inner strength. And it felt like the tree was telling me that this was a time to be grounded in my power, to not shy away from it but to harness it fully. I felt a part of the tree, that there was no separation between us. And I was able to be in this space for over an hour and it felt like the best gift from the universe ever, it was something I so needed.
I’ve heard so many people say that they go camping to get away, to disconnect from the world, to leave the real world behind & to detach but for me being out in nature isn’t detaching from the “real” world, it’s the complete opposite, it’s about connecting entirely and feeling a part of it all. There’s nothing that brings me more peace than having the time and space to be completely free, completely present in the moment without any distractions.
We got so incredibly blessed with the weather too which meant there were a few days spent wading in the rivers and relaxing in the sun, I even had to get out the sunscreen! And on one of those days I experienced another awe-inspiring state of being. It was such a gorgeous day, the temperature had gone all the way up to 23 degrees & we went to a different stream from the previous day and it was so much better! We were in the middle of the woods, completely secluded whereas the other one gets crowded with people. Our surroundings were so idyllic,it was like stepping into another world. As soon as we arrived waves of peace and tranquility flooded our beings. We became so relaxed and in a state of bliss. We were surrounded by so much life, the trees were becoming greener and greener, flashes of colour all around us and the sweet scent of spring flowers drifting through the air. I felt such a happiness to be living where we live. We spent hours wading up and down the stream catching fish and then releasing them, playing pooh sticks on a nearby little bridge. We spent the rest of the time having the most beautiful cuddles on the grass listening to the rumbling river which put me into a kind of hypnotic trance, if Nixie would have had a nap I would have to. Our time there felt like pure magic, my body became so still and heavy and I could feel a deep surrender taking place within me, another new sense of peace and happiness flowing into my being in deeper ways still, a beautiful stillness. I am going through so many shifts at the moment and it feels like my path is shifting once again and I’m excited to see how everything will unfold. I have also noticed in Nixie that she is becoming more and more mindful & able to enjoy the stillness and silence in ways she wasn't able to experience before. This life is truly such an incredible gift!
The only thing that would have made the week even more spectacular would have been if Kevin didn’t need to go to work, he’d wake up and get ready really early in the morning, somehow managing to not wake me or NIxie up and head off to the train station before even the birds have truly woken up, for his daily commute to London and then not returning until late in the evening usually after nixie had fallen asleep. But at least we had the weekends all together.
This past week will be a week I will always remember. When we first arrived you could only just see the little buds on the trees but by the time we left they had completely opened. Spring happened while we watched! It doesn’t get much more special than that! It felt like the perfect synchronicity, because as the forest came back to life so did I.