Before lock-down we were half way through our Ardwick Art Walks funded by GM Walking Grants and part of the activity to get the city walking and active.
We had to postpone our last walk with Emily Hayes - but this will be the first walk we organise in the future when we come out of lock-down.
However, the government still permits us to do one piece of exercise per day and that can be a walk, so we have been thinking of ways that we can increase the mindful and creative components of our walks to offer us a more holistic experience.
Today we want to introduce the concept of Befriending a Tree according to Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder.
Thank you to Anne W for sharing this dramatic portrait of a tree with sun behind, I love this image, it just fills me with a warmth and evokes this exact time of year when we get the last glimpses of naked trees before their leaf clothes emerge and cover their limbs once again. Pretty special.
This article by Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder in Emergence Magazine is an excellent guide to how to befriend a tree - read the article and then make a note of all the suggestions on how exactly we can befriend a tree in our locale. Such a joyful activity to engage with another living being in a time when we are having to keep our distance for our fellow species, we can reach and commune with other species and recognise their value and being perhaps for the first time.
Interesting how things always come together, as well as discovering this magazine article and being sent this inspiring image by Anne, I also received this blog post by a good friend of Mapping Mcrs Quiet Spaces: Severine Cochard, Severine is a garden designer, horticulturalist and environmentalist and has her own blog as part of her website and here we see how she not so much as went out to befriend a tree - but perhaps one tree came out to befriend her, take a look at this lovely post and if you live nearby maybe take a walk to visit this Wingnut in Chorlton: https://www.grassrootsgardendesign.co.uk/post/wingnut
I think one of the things that inspired me most about the Befriending a Tree article was one of the last suggestions of the practice which is to start a conversation with someone else in your community about the tree that you have befriended. This is an essential part of sharing, building connections, valuing and learning about nature and exchange. So if you want to send us photographs, drawings, maps, descriptions, poems or stories about your tree friends, please do - we are waiting!
And if you can't get out for any reason or just want a virtual tour of a park or garden, try this
A Walk in the Park: ‘A Walk in the Park’ is a brand-new podcast series from the Whitworth. A university gallery, set in parkland in central Manchester. Hosted by the Cultural Park Keeper Francine Hayfron, each episode takes a look at what is happening inside and out at the Whitworth.