The ground is frosty and crunchy under foot.
The other day I get up at 6am and drive to some woods near Lewes with Alistair Duncan, to check them out as a potential new venue for School of the Wild.
It's properly dark as we set off, and it's only just getting light when we get to the woods.
The orange glow of the rising sun on the horizon slowly filters through the forest, lighting up the tops of the trees, and making the purple, gold and red of the early morning sky turn blue.
Purple, gold and red of the early morning sky
The track into the wood is frosty and crunchy under foot.
Along the way are puddles covered in single sheets of ice. I can’t resist jumping on a few, just to see and hear the ice break up into thick shards, like broken glass.
Dogs bark in the distance, and a few birds fly across the track. The trees are quiet and still. The world feels like it is slowly waking up.
The rising sun poking through the trees
Despite a bad night’s sleep and this early start, I feel happy and refreshed, and glad that I’ve made the effort to get up.
There’s something really special about the sounds and smells of nature, especially out in the woods, at the beginning and end of the day.
So while the days are still short, our next Wild session is in the woods in the dark, inspired by the idea of working on our relationship to nature through our own sensory experiences: the tastes and smells in the air, the feel of the wind as it caresses the skin, the sounds of nocturnal animals going about their business, the touch of the ground under our feet as we walk upon it…
As we filter out the sense of sight, it encourages us to pay more attention to the other senses.
And who knows what you might discover!
Romancing the Dark, a night time journey into nature connection is on Sunday 28th February. More details and booking here.
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.