Most of humanity is still at war with Nature, yet I believe reconnecting with Nature, with the more-than-human world in the words of eco-philosopher David Abram, is key to healing ourselves and in doing so, healing our ailing planet. Nature would be on our side, if only with let Her, if only we listened. Yet most of us have forgotten how to listen, lost the connection, and perhaps stories can help us find a way back, can remind us how to relate, with curiosity, awe and politeness, to the powers of Nature. Then we won’t be so alone, then the world will be re-enchanted, then we will feel its exhilarating aliveness and partake in the joy to be alive, which is our birthright.
I have been gathering stories on ‘Other Nations’ – the words used by writer Henry Beston in the Outermost House to describe the animal kingdom, but which I have extended to encompass Trees and Stones, the vegetal and the mineral. I have been gathering stories on season and cycles to help reconnect with the rhythms of Nature, even as they are perturbed by climate change, for the cycles of days and nights are reliable still. I have been gathering stories and testimonies from communities at the forefront of the climate struggle, in celebration of their wisdom and courage.
Since I am blessed to live on the foothills of the Preseli Hills in Wales, I am now drawn towards Stones, as well as towards stories and mythologies surrounding horses, who freely roam the hill and share our lives; and reindeer, who have exerted a powerful fascination since my first trip to Lapland as an 11 year-old.
Past performances on Trees:
- Wonder of Trees, York Theatre Royal, York, October 2019. This event was part of the Take Over Festival.
- The Wonder of Trees, in collaboration with Dr Amy-Jane Beer, York Festival of Ideas, York, June 2019.
- Conte-moi les arbres, Médiathèque de Lauzerte, France, Septembre 2018. Cette animation est en lien avec l’exposition de photographie à l’Espace Point de Vue.
Past performances on protecting the Earth:
- Tales from the Frontline: An inspiring blend of stories and testimonies from communities on the frontlines of the struggle against the spread of oil and gas corporations., with Cath Heinemeyer & Guests, York, May 2017.
Past performances on seasonal cycles:
- Le retour de la lumière – The return of the Light: a celebration of the Winter Solstice through stories and myths from all continents. St Nicolas-de-la-Grave, France, December 2016; online via Zoom in English & French, December 2020.
Drawings by Jess Wallace