I’ll confess I’m a huge fan of Sarah Wilson. When I read her words she always seems to have managed to grapple with the endless thoughts, ideas and anxieties I have swimming around in my head and wrestled them into making absolute sense. I’m left thinking ‘YES that’s it EXACTLY’
As you know I often write about the two subjects that matter to me most – the importance of looking after our planet, and the importance of our own mental well-being. Those two things have always seemed inextricably related to me. My life’s work here at Swallowtail Hill is where they entwine – a place offering respite for the burnt out and overwhelmed, a chance to reset by reconnecting with the big outdoors – our biodiverse landscape the backdrop in which to restore the spirits. it’s my passion to make those things resonate for visitors to this small patch of Sussex. In ‘This One Wild and Precious Life‘ Sarah writes about similar themes but by contrast she tackles them on a much bigger scale. In this book she explores the despair many of us feel about climate change, social injustice, about the trauma of coping with the last few years, and about the pull we have towards finding a new way of living. She recognises that the disconnection we feel in the world is actually what unites us. We are more alike than we are different. The pathway to living a life more true to our values, with more joy and contentment is also the way we can effect change on the world around us. In reconnecting with ourselves and each other, we can find ways to care for the planet rather than abusing it with our mindless consumerism and numbing our souls in the process.
Some of you may have read that last paragraph and rolled your eyes, thinking I’m describing some new-age fantasy of one-love. I’m not. Sarah’s writing is far too down to earth for that. While she advocates reconnecting with life though ‘wild practices’ – this isn’t a manual for hippies, it’s a guide book like no other – steeped in the practical and actionable urging us all to live our one wild and precious lives.
Sarah is a really great teacher – she weaves her own personal stories of grief, anxiety and adventure with science, interviews, poetry, spiritual texts – it’s a really inspiring read and gave me renewed hope for the future.
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