As I drove along with the windscreen wipers heavily in motion a strange ritual was being conducted on the pavement by two non- jacket wearing teenagers. A partially blonde teenager was being helped by her boyfriend to stay out of the torrential Welsh sunshine. In order to prevent the vital locks from becoming drenched and therefore unveiling her camouflage he had placed both his hands above her head. This unconventional butterfly shaped fascinator was certainly keeping me smiling as I headed to my destination. As I passed the end of school day gates, the road became clogged with traffic and waiting parents. Surely not all these children lived that far from school? They lived on a large estate only minutes from home why was there a need to protect their precious cargo from getting wet? We live in a Wales we should be used to the dampness of the environment, its in our DNA.
Earlier in the day I had signed up for going wild for 30 days in June with the a Wildlife Trust. I suddenly realised it was day 1, the 1st of June and the summer had started – and it was raining. What was going to be my first contribution to this fantastic idea, to inspire and get people out into their natural surrounding and be re-connected with nature.
Being out in the rain was not a problem I had been using the outdoor arena as my office for the last 30 years. But not everybody has had the same awesome feelings of being outside in the rain. Umbrellas, staring through rain spotted windows, newspapers on heads, all images that direct you to an impression and feelings towards the outdoors and rain in one direction – negative. So my first contribution was to try to change that image so hence the idea #walkintherain was pinged into my mind.
Walking along into a new area I had need of refreshing my well- being with a dose of Green Medicine. I could smell the rain, hear the clearness of the bird song and my skin soaked up the radiating tonic of the forest canopy. With no care for navigation it gave time to appreciate the surroundings, the sparkling leaves, the many different hues of green and the softness of wet grass beneath my feet. I had plugged into nature and was recharging at no cost to the National Grid and was becoming brighter by the minute. So why was everyone else feeling down as they rushed home to switch the heating on and I was glowing outdoors? #walkintherain had made a positive charge to my awareness, over the noise of large rain drops heavily falling through the trees the multitude of bird song was being amplified celebrating the ending of the downpour.
All of natures trophies were still on view, elderflower, bluebell and brightly coloured rhododendrons were highlighted against the green backdrop. An unknown path led me along a journey into a familiar place of contentment and serenity. Even the noise of the major road only metres away from the park I was walking through did not discharge me from the anti-dote of the green drip that I was hooked up to in this natural hospital.
So next time it rains, don’t stay putting bets on the raindrops of the kitchen window. Don’t retreat inside your hood masking all your senses apart from your inner thoughts. Don’t switch on the virtual outside world when you’re inside. Open up the page of the Adventure Literacy manual that says ‘Rainy Days’, put on a coat and head outside and soak up the nature around you. Go and smell the rain, see the shimmering varnish of natures colour palette, taste the cleanliness of the air and remember the feeling of fulfilment of that #walkintherain.
Spread the # be part of natures revolution and encourage others to race outside when it rains next time. What do they say ‘ no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’ ! What’s the worst that can happen – nature made skin waterproof – coincidence or clever planning?
One thing I did discover on my way round the park today was a natural rescue remedy for the teenage boyfriend. Mother natures way of providing appropriate sized rain protection devices.