Saturday, 4 July 2015

Meadowland


I have been reading the loveliest book called Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel. Anyone who knows me and my work knows how excited I get about all the wonderful flora and fauna in the fields so they will share my joy in finding such a book.


John Lewis-Stempel has a meadow of his own and he knows it intimately. He knows every grass, every flower and every birdsong. He knows which creatures are nesting where, from families of tiny voles to the foxes and the badgers. He knows which moth caterpillars he will find munching on a moonlit night, he knows how many species of beetle he might find wallowing under a cowpat!


The book takes us through the year of his meadow from bleak January snows, to the absolute bursting beauty of high summer and then back to winter again. I am so glad I read it in June when our meadows are in their full glory because I realised it is so fleeting. Soon it would be time for them to be mown and I needed to get out and enjoy them while I could.






So I have been out up on the hills with my camera, enjoying the long evening shadows, getting down at floor level and enjoying all the shapes and textures.


I won't ever know the fields as well as the author (well maybe if I plonk my house in the middle...I can dream) but I was very pleased with myself when I knew exactly where to find the patch of  my absolute favourite grass that inspired my latest wallpaper design


It is so exquisite and delicate.


I have a lovely friend called Belinda Norrington who is a jeweller with a business called Wild Acre. We have followed each others work and our mutual meadow love for a number of years but have never met. Yesterday she came to stay with me on a fleeting visit to Hebden Bridge.


The day before she arrived she emailed to ask if I had read a book called Meadowland and if I hadn't she was going to bring it for me! How funny. I had been thinking I needed to buy a copy for her before she arrived! The mutual meadow love continues.


So last night we took a meandering walk in the fields over looking Hebden Bridge. 


We had SO much to talk about. Life, inspiration, business, yoga, our growing children, dreams, plans and how to capture the delicate beauty in the meadows in our work.


I've always hoped that one day we would get together and have a meadow walk. Such joy to have it actually happen on a beautiful summer evening.


Reading Meadowland has made the fields even richer. Now they are full of stories, folklore, new smells, new sounds, new names for things. And I have had many blissfully happy evenings, content in perfect present moment awareness, soaking it up, not wanting to be anywhere else.


As John Lewis-Stempel writes 'Eternity would not be enough to contain all the summer eves one could enjoy if it were like this'. So true.

Earlier on Belinda text me from her train home saying she just heard it was the inaugural 'National Meadows Day' so I thought that tonight would be the perfect night to pull together this blog post and share some photos.

Happy Meadow Day x


5 comments:

Suzi Garlick said...

Beautiful blog post and gorgeous photos Hannah. A very happy belated Meadow day to you too x

Suzi Garlick said...

Beautiful blog post and gorgeous photos Hannah. A very happy belated Meadow day to you too x

Kate said...

Beautiful, evocative photos as always Hannah, your eye is so inspired/inspiring! Book sounds lovely I've added it to my 'must read' list. X

Elizabeth said...

Your posting inspires me to read the book, and l enjoyed looking at the close-up meadow shots - lovely!

rossichka said...

This book means so much - excitement, knowledge, inspiration... It must be thrilling to look deeper into the world of wild plants and flowers. What a beautiful scenery, so close to our nature!:)
I believe you've shared time and thoughts and ideas with your friend! Hope you are having a fantastic summer weather, Hannah! Here the temperatures are above 30 degrees Celsius.:0)
Hugs!

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