MARKING THE MOMENT
On the cusp of the first of 2021’s easing of Covid lockdown, I wanted to mark the moment. This easing allowed up to 15 people to meet outdoors for exercise. What is exercise if not movement, and what is movement but a way of connecting to our physical selves, to each other and also, new for me, to nature. The prospect of being able to stand in a big wide circle in the presence of other people filled me with a deep and nourishing delight. As I write this post we are almost at the end of this series of workshops and it has been both a privilege and a wonder. The energy of a human-made circle, even without physical contact, is a palpable and emotional thing. Being present to that and taking in the moment is visceral and profound, and gets right underneath the skin if you let it in. It feels like a liminal space and time of collective acknowledgement, unspoken, but deeply felt.
We are a small group, deliberately so, who have met for an hour on a weekly basis, to share in some of my experiences and learnings from the past year of moving, outside, with nature
I made the invitation via my twitter feed, wanting to be fleet of foot and light on administration and organisation. I have loved teaching and facilitating and bringing people into body and into a connection with nature and the natural world. I’ve found myself saying:
“feel the weather, and the surface of the ground underfoot; let yourself inhabit the open space and move into the full volume of your body taking up as much space as you can and want and need; touch the earth and touch the sky; what do you hear and what do you see; listen inside and outside at the same time; listen to your body and move in ways that you love; oil your joints; bring energy into the body; switch off thinking & judgement and move into feeling and sensing; pick a tree – what is its invitation, what capacity does it liberate in you, how can you move with the tree in ways you couldn’t move alone – a duet of sorts, what is its ask, feel your strength in its strength, the properties of the tree & the properties of you, the connection and dialogue between you and the tree, discover its texture and feel, be kind to it, say thank-you; move from functional, to qualitative, to expressive movement; know the feeling of running; the dance of the balancing of a stick on your wrist, and always, always, feeling the weather”
Everything is an invitation and, as always for me, only if it feels good for your body in this moment. To sense inside, to physically listen and switch on your awareness of yourself moving, is to awaken the body’s natural intelligence and is a way of moving that you can have with you for ever onwards. It is yours and always has been and is there for all of us, simply for the asking. Connecting this with nature seems the most natural thing in the world. I’m shocked that I haven’t done this before now and deeply grateful to have found it. Dancing with trees! Ha, who would have thought
Thanks to everyone who came and for marking this big moment in time with our collective energy and presence. I very much hope to offer more workshops with nature in the future.