Just a piece of wood? Not a chance!
I have written before about the woods close to where I used to reside. I’ve recorded many folk songs under the cover of the beech trees (here is a playlist of them all) and have wandered for endless hours looking for fairy toadstools and plant spirits
As I write this the tears have started to flow because of the feelings that well up in my soul when I think of those woods. So many strong emotions. I still have a great deal of attachment to that sacred place
It is a huge plantation of pine and beech trees (I don’t actually know if the beech were planted there or if they grow naturally, but the pines were certainly planted by the Forestry Commission)
Located on what was the western-most border of ancient Sherwood Forest (of Robin Hood fame) the exact spot is also known as the Hills of Annesley (before the plantation was there) and Byron even wrote a poem about them. (Mary Chaworth lived at Annesley Hall which is now sadly a huge but beautiful ruin at the other side of the woods -I sang this song at the church ruins once)
Here is Byron’s Poem:
(Written Shortly After The Marriage Of Miss Chaworth, Byron’s Lover)
Hills of Annesley, bleak and barren, Where my thoughtless childhood stray’d, How the northern tempests, warring, Howl above thy tufted shade! Now no more, the hours beguiling, Former favourite haunts I see; Now no more my Mary smiling Makes ye seem a heaven to me.
This area is also very close to the Misk Hills which has another famous literary connection. This time to DH Lawrence
I lived close by this area for five years and it was my regular wandering spot. Not long after moving to the village we got our first hound. Me and him and the kids were always in the woods making fires (shush don’t tell anyone) and frying up our bacon for late breakfasts
We also used to go crystal hunting – yes, we found actual crystals there!! Even took the kids to the British Geographical Society HQ in Keyworth to get them correctly identified. They are Calcite crystals – I was amazed
Going into the woods was always like a spiritual communion that brought much healing. I find it hard to return there now I have moved. I still live in Nottingham, near to part of Sherwood Forest, but it isn’t quite the same
Fast forward to when the photo below was taken and it’s September 2022. My beautiful baby boy is nearly 8 months old. He is enjoying looking at things and grasping objects. The other day his Dad gave him a beautiful wooden bangle to keep him occupied for our trip to Leicester. We were going back to the hospital for his heart check-up (following open heart surgery in July at 6 months old).
His Dad is a green woodworker and is very talented (his work can be found here) and usually makes spoons. He made it originally as an adult sized bangle but then realised it would be a perfect toy for our baby who loves it.
On my asking what wood it was made from, Adam suddenly realised…it was from a fallen beech tree that he was actually sawing at the time when we first met nearly two years ago in the woods. Oh!! How beautiful! 🙂 I remember that day well xxxx
A very special thing for our special boy 💗