Sharing the Secret

Today, I watched competitive scything, bought a handmade hat and watched a craftsman create beautiful objects out of copper. I was at the Green Scythe Fair, a one-day environmental festival tucked away in the Somerset Levels.

Over the years, I’ve seen the Scythe Fair grow from a single row of stalls on the edge of a field (full of people scything, very competitively) to a larger event; yet so far it has managed to keep true to its green roots and ethos. The Fair remains small, friendly, green – and special.

Which brings me to a dilemma: that feeling of having discovered something very special and wanting to tell everybody about it, while at the same time sensing it is precious – and wanting to keep it a safe secret. I have that feeling sometimes when I read an amazing book or go somewhere that touches my heart in a particular way. The sense that everybody has a right and indeed ought to experience something this magical… but if they do, might there be a danger that the magic will be worn away?

While I’ve every confidence that the Green Scythe Fair is in safe hands, this sense of wishing to share yet not wanting to spoil is, I’m guessing, experienced by many of us. I suppose we all have to learn to navigate our own way; to listen to our intuition and share those things that stir us most, while keeping them safe from harm.

freelance artist, oils, illustration, illustrator, freelance illustrator

Summer’s Here!

Last night we had the most spectacular storm. Woken by thunder, I climbed out of bed to watch the sky light up. After such a hot day, the heavy rain was welcome and in the morning the garden seemed a shade greener, the roses opening.

This is a glorious time of year, when everything’s growing. We have bumble bees nesting in the eaves, and the bird feeder is busy with fledglings. (I guess the feeder is the welcome equivalent of a takeaway for their frazzled parents.) One particular starling fledgling is so cocky he’s already tried to see off the resident woodpecker – who’s having none of it and jabbed him a lesson in waiting his turn.

Various projects of my own are fledging too: this new website and my book, Down to the River and Up to the Trees. Having recorded the audio version and corrected the proofs, I’m expecting printed copies of the book to arrive any day. It’ll feel a little unreal to hold it in my hands at last. But exciting!

In other news, I recently had a small exhibition of paintings and am now about to help my other half exhibit his handmade furniture at various country shows. So it’s a busy time of year, but a rewarding one… Time to take flight now summer’s here.