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A few friends and I are sharing a local allotment. Its been fantastic and surprisingly creative, especially rummaging through what's been left there from before and building on that- and making do with what we can get on the local Freebay. 

I'm reminded of the triple positives of getting earthy on the land- 

1/ Fitness. yesterday a turf removing and digging session was logged on my watch as 580 kCal burned and a max heart rate of 145 which while below running and gym, was well within the aerobic fitness range, and digging certainly builds muscles!

2/ Mental health-  Being outside with hands in the earth is probably the most mindful of all things - its a living meditation on the present moment, in community with the wildness of the others who share this planet with us: I'm thinking here of the birds especially the robin and song thrush following my spade's every move for juicy worms.

3/ Social - we have met elders within the community who have a fount of knowledge and wisdom, and who embody and teach gratitude for the sunshine and the opportunity to work the land. Today for example I  learned that my allotment is an area of 5 poles and originally an allotment of 10 poles was supposed to be able to feed a family of 4 for a year!

My message then is that working the land in and as community is its own ecotherapy - yes adventure and wilderness trips are fabulous  -and I have some amazing and exciting trips planned for later in the spring, but after two years of COVID I think many of us are feeling somewhat dissociated-  from our time, place and community- and ultimately and consequently also from ourselves and our life's plans and purpose...

The John Muir award fabulously embodies 4 challenges : Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share. The last two years have for most of us involved adventures within our own houses and heads which has been a real deep dive into the pleasant and less pleasant shadowy sides of ourselves and the situations we found ourselves in on that first day of lockdowns 20th March 2020. The desert fathers  (attributed to Abbot Moses in Scete in Northern Egypt) wisely said "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything" and many of us are probably still untangling the insights we received from sitting in our cells (homes) these past two years.

When I lead quests and clients outside the critical phase is always "incorporation" - how do we take the learnings and insights given to us and put it to use for the good of the community around us. So now is the time for that  - to embrace spring, post pandemic- and head outside towards others carrying all our tangled up wisdom from the past two years.

and you don't need to go far - but go out on the land - go with and towards others (both new and old), and get earthy, creative and see where you land.

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