Moving to nature

‘the images have all been about how my body does or doesn’t fit into this rural landscape’

I hear the barking dogs and I feel the goosebumps rise on my skin. I’m frozen in fear for just a second, wondering how close they might be. Then I move quickly, pulling my vest up around my torso and lunging for my jacket hanging on a nearby branch. I turn around and can just about make out a group of walkers further down the path. I laugh to myself and feel grateful to those dogs for warning me of the imminent intrusion.

I had been both lazy and bold on this particular day. Lazy, because I hadn’t got up and out early enough to have this part of the woods to myself. Bold, because I reasoned that it wasn’t a hugely popular thoroughfare, even at 11am on an early spring morning. Nothing about the situation was ideal. The sun was already too high in the sky to create interesting light. The cloudy moments increased the chill in the air. The dog walkers were out and about. Still, I had an idea in my head and I needed to try it out.

That’s how it begins of course, a clear image arises in my mind and then it hops on its little hamster wheel and goes round and round, until I’ve had enough mental agitation and decide it’s time to make the image real. Since moving to Somerset a year ago the images have all been about how my body does or doesn’t fit into this rural landscape. I am preoccupied with getting closer to nature. After all, that is why I moved here from London just before the start of the pandemic lockdown.

Read the full essay over on Medium.