Speaking with a Wild Voice

The day is bright and calm and touchingly innocent of the storm which approaches. Earlier, I welcomed a new pansy to my garden, and came inside with my hands brown and fragrant with good, rich soil. Now it's translating into words that tumble together, shy and quiet and dreamy, to form a story.

I need to draw my voice from the root-woven earth, from forgotten seeds and old, dark tree reveries. I need to shape my stride into the rhythm of the air. When I lose sight of the fact that I'm part of this world, this wild, rather than its witness or its guardian - I am a small sound within the great, endless conversation of trees and light and sudden water and footprints left behind - when I forget this, I forget myself.

I read something yesterday which I thought was worth repeating, because it reminds us of how much our perception of nature is filtered with ideas of power rather than community and love : bee colonies aren't so much ruled by a Queen as by a mother.

There are fewer bees in my garden this year, despite the luxuriousness of my rosemary bush. But then, we have begun to value mothers less, haven't we? What we see in ourselves, we see in nature, and vice versa. How we sow is so often how we speak.


  1. So beautifully written Sarah! I read that bit about bees being governed by a mother yesterday too. I'm writing a story about bees, so little tit bits like that give me interesting layers to the story to consider. Our South African honeybees have slowly been dying of in recent years, and even more so in the last 6 months. Its very sad. This morning I didn't see a single bee in the garden. Last year this time there were so many. The same with butterflies. There have been far less of them in the last two years.

    1. Thanks Jodi. Of course, it's more than sad that the bees and butterflies are dying. It's perhaps the number one threat much of life on this planet faces, and I think its even perhaps more urgent than global warming. I know that scientists are working on making robot bees - but that to me sums up everything that is wrong about the human race, and I have to really restrain myself from swearing.

  2. These photos are stunning, Sarah. <3

  3. holy moly robot bees, i did not know that and i also must restrain myself.

    yes, part of this world, so beautifully expressed.

  4. So true, and beautifully said. I love these pictures.

  5. Incredibly beautiful words and images Sarah. I do recall, when I was in your part of the world earlier this year, that there were few bees. A lot of bumble bees, but barely a honey bee to be seen. I fret for the bees, theirs and our survival. x

  6. Thank you everyone, I am so grateful especially for the kind words about the photos as I really liked them but wasn't sure anyone else would.

    Today I walked along a path which is edged with flowering bushes that are usually swarming with bees. Not one single one in sight. Of course, it is almost winter now - but even so, it was a troubling sight.

  7. Gorgeous shots of the flowers - and such lovely meditation on woods and life.