I was in a kind of rattled mood, slightly unhinged and ungrounded, as I am in the process of moving house and moving countries in the next few months, and I have a partner who does not fall easily into my grand scheme of things. And then there’s this issue of my youngest child leaving home, making me redundant.

I find the best thing in to do in these circumstances is to connect myself to Mother Nature instead of one person. That’s what my parents had taught me to do, throughout the years I was in their care and we spent endless days out in the New Forest, South Downs and the many rivers and parks of southern England. My wise Ma always said in her soothing voice, “It will all come out in the wash, Jac.”

The love between a man and a woman is great, as is the love of a parent for a child, but there is also something greater, namely the love of life. We often forget that.

As I am far away from my beloved home, I took the kayak out to the Sri Nath National Park in Phuket. When I set out, I saw sunlight dappling in the peaceful waters of the klong (river ways). There were golden bits of plankton glinting in the bright sun and little fishes swimming below the surface. Overhead, the skies were brilliant blue. There were strange, graceful insects on the river that I could not name. And when I got out to sea, I saw flying fish arcing the horizon.

It reminded me of this beautiful poem of Wendell Berry’s that I had always loved, which my Ma read to me when I was about 19 and about to leave home.

I think life would be infinitely gentler if we save our vents and release those frustrations, uncertainties and fears into the vastness of Nature, rather than heap them on the shoulders of our closest and nearest, often damaging tender hearts with vicious words said in moments of stress. Just a thought from my life’s long and eventful journey 🙂