18 June 2024


Posted by Terry Glover

I began writing this instalment of the newsletter as we broke free from the heaviest thrall of winter – around Easter, on a long train ride to the North. An early Easter, spiked with bright flashes of crocuses and daffodils. I’d packed fresh fruit and a sarnie for the journey, and I had my train book picked out: Weathering by Ruth Allen. Formerly a geologist, Allen is now a psychotherapist, writer and facilitator who has pioneered a practice she coins ‘geosomatics’: exploring our living bodies in the living environment through movement. Weathering combines her knowledge of the deep movements of the earth, shifting over aeons, with her empathetic understanding of the much briefer timespan of our human lives, and the transformations that grief and change can bring.

My love of nature writing took off in the middle of the great pause of 2020 – a time for questioning, reflection and seeking out other ways of being and thinking. Ever since human beings have been writing, we have been writing about nature; this genre might not be quite as old as the hills, but it’s certainly close. This makes sense: as Allen explains, big nature is our most constant companion as a species, providing us with a rich philosophical connection in times of uncertainty, change and upheaval. ‘After all, life is not light work,’ she writes, ‘Rocks have broad shoulders. They carry a lot of weight. They uphold cities, entire worlds.’

These days, I make an effort to pass through a park everyday on my commute to and from work. I like to sit for a moment with my mushroom coffee and imagine how the city must look that day from the perspective of the trees. I picture how I am swayed and shaken by the wind, or nourished by the rain, branches stirred by crows and wrens and squirrels, breathing fresh oxygen out into the smoggy air. Looking out over the city with the sturdy trunk of the tree supporting my spine, I see everything a little differently.

This instalment has taken a while to write – it’s now June. May was the wettest on record, and the rain doesn’t look like stopping. I’ve been asking myself what the gifts are of this weather. It reminds me a little of living in the tropics, and connects me with the pleasures of being indoors; sipping tea, reading, snacking on toasted sunflower seeds as the clouds blow over and the heavy rains pour down. It’s not the cold rain of winter, but a heavy curtain of misty magic. Above all, it encourages me to go slow for a moment; to take the time to look out at the world and gather my thoughts.

Weather like this calls for tea and toast, but with a summer twist. At the shop, we’re adding fresh green salads, smoked mackerel sandwiches with quick pickled cucumber with a smidge of curry powder. A spiced rooibos (served hot or cold) buzzed with ginger, cinnamon, orange blossom and cardamom blend to gently enliven your afternoon.

Sweet stuff comes inspired from Nicola Lamb’s recent book SIFT in the form of a roasted strawberry sponge; pair that with our long cool Lavender Haze, a bubbly coconut water, with lavender, a dash of grenadine and a generous squeeze of fresh lime. If that doesn’t bring summer on, we don’t know what will. 

Books mentioned in this blog post