This week on our development course – that’s helping others develop, not us (well sorta) – we had a visit from a counsellor. She specialised in getting people to get outside and to join her on walks in the countryside.

As an icebreaker, she asked us to think of our preferred natural habitat. Before you think it, it wasn’t swanning about en femme someplace 🙂 I’ve said this a few times before on this blog, but my go-to place for tranquillity – either in my head or in the real world – is woodland.

Ideally old woods, with huge trees that reach up to the sky and whose branches splay out to cover the sky that beautiful mix of green.

I was born out in the sticks and the first house that the Ever Lovely Mrs J and I bought, well, it was very much in the city. Yeah, there were a few hedges and a few grass lawns, but that was it. If I leaned close to the window, I could just make out the treetops from a distant park. I think I was surprised at just how much I missed the countryside.


To stand in woodland and see those colours; to hear birdsong; to feel the breeze on my skin; to smell either the soft scent of pine or the rich dampness of leaves; to me, that’s to let go. Not to think, but just to witness and let it all drift by. Those moments of peace, I think, are to be treasured.

So now, well, we’re lucky that we live out in the countryside once again. Woods aren’t far and once the rush hour has gone, the view over the fields is quiet. It feels good to be out in nature.

What about you dear reader, where’s your place in nature? Woods, sea, lakes, moors, caves, cliffs, fields, deserts?

Take care,


  1. I'm very lucky in that the city I live in has a lot of large national parks that are easy to get to, even without a car, and there are a few of these that I've often gone to when I've wanted to get away from civilization for a few hours. The one I visit the most right now is called Morialta Falls, and is an amazing place, with lots of typically Australian bushland, some awe-inspiring cliffs (you really don't want to venture off any of the paths there!), and some equally impressive waterfalls (duh). Even though it's smack bang in the middle of suburbia, within a few minutes of entering the place, it's easy to forget you're still in the city, not least because you'll often see kangaroos hopping about the place. You do need to keep an eye out for the drop bears, though!

    Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of going to this place late in the afternoon (largely so I can see the city all lit up for the night from whichever walking trail I'm on when the sun sets), which means I'm usually trying to find my way back to the car park in the dark. The last time I went, I actually ended up getting lost, which wasn't fun, though I managed to find my way out eventually!

  2. I've just had a look via Google Maps and StreetView. What a place! It looks fab. There's some beautiful photos that have been shared including an incredible sunset.

    I think I see what you mean about it becoming dark. Not many street lamps about! Do watch out for those drop bears. They come at night, mostly. 🙂

  3. Grass, I love green grass, especially when the sun shines, and sunlight dappling the ground through leaves. My favourite place is the Thames towpath (it's a long one!) especially where trees form an arch over the path and the light is yellow-green and there's a glimpse of bright sun sparkling on the moving water.

  4. 100% definitely the sea. Living in the middle of Yorkshire really isn't close enough to the sea. I have to make do with canals which are just not the same. I cherish each moment by the sea – whether is calmly lapping or stormily rain, it captures my imagination and stills my heart…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.