A book I thoroughly enjoyed reading is Fools Gold by Susan G Woolridge. In fact I read it on the beach in between pottering. It is quite the most surprising book (in an AHA! sense) that I have read in a long time.
Woolridge shares her "journey from loss and grief to a return of wholeness and joy". As part of her healing process she began making a small collage box each day with the "treasure" she found on her walks. As a fellow forager myself this idea really appeals to me. Its something most people can't help doing when they're out in nature. In our family we call it pottering. "Where's mum?" "Oh she's off pottering."
Susan Woolridge is a poet and a great believer in the healing powers of journaling. She writes "There's something I need to discover here and I don't know where it will take me. Bringing my journal alive in small boxes feels like uncharted territory, a new world of possibility for me." and thus she made the decision to create a box collage of her daily finds every day for a year.
Instead of making a collage a day I have been photographing my finds (see photo above). I've brought home bags and bags of rocks from all over South Africa. They languish in my garden and whenever I look at them I remember those long walks and endless hours pottering in rock pools.
Some time back I wrote Nina Bagley's poem, "Gathering" into my quote book because it describes so perfectly what it is to be a gatherer. I asked her if I could post it here and she graciously emailed the photograph and poem as it appeared on her blog.
Is the gathering,
the pockets filled with remnants
of a day evaporated, the traces of
certain memory, a lingering smell,
a smile that came with the shell."
Aah, bliss! If there is anyone who doesn't know Nina's blog, do yourself a favour and visit http://ornamental.typepad.com/ornamental/ . Her writing hits the spot and her jewellery is amazing. Many people enjoy the way she thinks and expresses herself. I wish she would write a book!