A map of our 10 day walk in September 2019
Collective memories from Lauren W, Nic, Amelie, Chloe and Hana. Documented by Hana and Chloe. (Use the interactive viewer below to zoom in and get a closer look at the map)
Day 1 THE CAMP OF SUNNY ANTICIPATION. 'Sharing intentions.' We come together in a sunny field beneath Dover's Hill, passing by an incredible view of the Cotswolds. 'I actually can carry this backpack!' 'The only time I had a strong feeling of us all being women.'
Day 2 TENT CITY CAMP 'Camping in non-picturesque places... being by a road.' We camp packed closely together, tucked away in a discreet corner of the Fish Hill park. 'Opening up to accept support from others.' We make our group agreements. 'People doing community-service sewing wildflowers.' 'Our first and last public toilets - and they didn't even have running water!'
Day 3 THE CAMP OF BEECH THUNDER CONSTELLATIONS 'Coming up to Broadway Tower, a postcard image.' 'Everything's very neat, then there's us on our knees scrambling for beech nuts!' We find a beautiful beech forest, with windy roots and bending branches. 'The non-human beings welcoming us in.' We gather to talk about our learning objectives. Our first family constellations workshop. 'The ground was literally shaking beneath us.'
Day 4 WEEVIL'S NATIVITY BARN 'Rain - like being in a rain forest.' 'Anger and feeling unwelcome in the church.' Then sunshine, drying tents, tarps and socks hanging up in trees. 'Dancing in the rain.' 'Warm, homely, sheltered community.' 'Sedna's cove storytime.'
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Day 5 THE FIELD OF MANY OWLS 'Conquering fears by walking past the bull while singing to appease the cows.' Foraged apples, pears and blackberries. 'Energetic scouting then hysterical tiredness.' Joined by new members of the group. 'People being physically unwell.'
Day 6 THE FIELD THAT SWALLOWS PEGS Our first rest day. We disperse, spend days in town, then are pulled back together in the field. 'Watched by the willows.' 'Family constellation magic.' We met a hunter and willed the wild animals to run away. 'Walking bare foot in the mud.'
Day 7 THE FIELD OF WEAVING THREADS Our second rest day. 'Uncertainty, confusion, big emotions' .'Tears and someone's hand on my head.' Group decision making. Chips in the pub. Silent walk home. 'Beautiful evening singing'
Day 8 BELAS KNAP CAMP 'Headless pheasant'. We sleep next to an ancient burial ground. Some take comfort through connection with ancestors, others are terrified by images of sacrificial children and murder. 'Listen to the sounds of civillisation.' 'Gratitude for being able to make fire in the rain.'
Day 9 THE CLEAVE IN CLEEVE COMMON 'It's been this way for hundreds of years!' We are awoken by the sounds of banging pots and cries of 'Get off my land!!' 'The fleeing fox.' 'The vulnerability of the wild.' In the golf club, we look at the notice board replete with notices on 'vermin control' and the 'problem' of mouse poo on the green. 'Tiny mushroom standing in a well trodden path.'
Day 10 THE RISING SUN CAMP 'Gratitude for permission and being welcomed' We stay in a field owned by the Rising Sun pub. Sheltering inside, we dry off and reflect on our time together. 'Trepidation of going back to civilisation after connecting with the wild.' Leaving ceremony. 'The sounds of traffic.'
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Our 10 day walk in the Cotswolds was certainly challenging. We faced rain, darkness, illness and hostility in private land and chocolate-box towns. It was also extremely powerful and moving. These challenges created the perfect context in which to experience the resilience of community. We supported each other to ride the waves of emotion, and together, found solutions from moment to moment.
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