Another nature advent(ure)
Next Wednesday is the first day December and the start of meteorological winter. Before that, we've got the first storm of the 21/22 season due this weekend, Storm Arwen. As I write this on Friday lunchtime I can hear the wind whistling down the chimney and it had a definitely bitter edge to it when I was out and about earlier. In Welsh, it's a girl's name meaning "noble maiden", so an interesting name for a strom. It's known for being the name of the Princess of the Elves in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. When I heard it announced on the news, I thought they said Awen, which is a Celtic symbol with three rays of light emanating from three points of light. It means essence or inspiration and as I understand it, underpins the Druid connection with nature. This is a very very simplified version - and to be honest from my research this morning, it is a subject of much debate! However you look at it, Awen leads you back to nature and our connection to it. I imagine that Storm Arwen might also do her fair share of connecting us to nature this weekend. The weather surrounds us all the time, yet we often only really take notice when something unusual occurs. One way that I connect with nature is by appreciating the weather in all its varieties. Yesterday, lying down during a yoga class, I noticed a single small white cloud surrounded by much darker grey clouds. This morning, standing in a queue outside a shop, I appreciated the warmth of the sunshine, although I admit, I didn't really appreciate the cold wind in my ears, but I certainly connected to the wind and I'll remember to take my hat next time I go out. Currently I can see the tops of the almost bare trees, swaying alarmingly, and the fluffy bum of a squirrel holding on tight.
This time last year as we headed towards a somewhat bleak and disconnected Christmas, Get Outdoors Lanarkshire launched our winter project to help spread some nature connection whilst we were apart. This year things are much brighter, but there is always benefits to be had from more nature connection, and so, from next Wednesday, you'll find a new Nature Advent(ure) Calendar on our website, full of small daily prompts to nudge you into nature. We hope you'll follow along and enjoy December - and nature - with us!