Life is one great adventure, but more often than not over the last few years I have found myself in the wilderness, not sure of where I am heading or even what my goal is.
Slowly however I am emerging from the wilderness, exploring nature, and being content to meander wild through my life. This is not how I have always been. Driven and ambitious was my style, pushing myself to the limits. I had an amazing husband, two gorgeous boys, a job I loved and enough adventure to make me happy. That has changed and I now realise that life is far too short and I need to do what makes me and my boys happy. This has taken time to evolve and is still evolving, but I have discovered where I need to be.
I was always the girl who liked to be outside, nature made me buzz and I loved my flower and butterfly books. On my journey over the last few years I have found that sitting on a cliff top with my camera, whatever the weather has given me the space to think, to escape and to just let my mind clear.
Believing that the universe will deliver and there is nothing I can do to change anything has helped me to accept the hand of life I have been dealt, however much I hate it at times. Wide open spaces let my mind wander and allow me time to process my emotions and thoughts away from being needed as ‘mum’, answering the needs of work and my students or the ever-growing jobs list and draw of social media. Research has shown that being outdoors reduces the stress hormone cortisol, something that rises to bursting point before I give in and take myself out for a long stomp. Even planning my escape can have beneficial effects and that is why I always have the next adventure in the planning stage, sometimes even on my cliff top perch or isolated beach the next idea starts to form.
Slowly my adventures have grown, from a short detour over the moor on the way back from the shops, via a week in Norway photographing the winter wilderness to two weeks trekking over the Andes in Patagonia. All have been adventures in their own right and even the smallest moment grabbed when I least expect it is worth the photograph. The beach with angry skies and sun rays breaking through as the boys learnt to skim stones before the storm hit was magical. I was able to sit with the boys, watching them enjoy themselves, my mind wandering and my camera in hand. Everyone can make these moments happen, it is just being able to let go of the ‘should’ and ‘must’ in life that is hard.
This little adventure called life is just evolving and developing. Meandering wild will be my new place to share my wild places, my thoughts, my photographs and my photography learning. I photograph to share what I love, to remind me of the good times and to keep a love that Jake had alive for as long as I can. I want to share my adventures in life with those who don’t have the time, the fitness or the drive to walk away from what they ‘should’ be doing and live for the moment, but also to hopefully inspire those who are teetering on the edge of a new adventure. Every moment is precious, you never get time back to try again and I intend to fill as many moments as I can with memories and photographs. I want the boys to see the natural world as well as the world without commercialisation. Visiting places off the beaten track, small markets, islands that aren’t tourist traps and learning about what is important in life is essential. Money doesn’t come into this in any way. We manage ‘free’ adventures whenever we can; walking on the beach looking for treasure, visiting a small village with an ancient cairn or collecting another trig point and geocache tick. They are all adventures in their own small way.