Maggie Emm

I have loved the countryside and it's plants and creatures all my life - from exploring the hedgerows of Cornwall on family camping holidays, to collecting for the 'nature table' at school, to studying and working as a herbalist transforming plants into medicines. And always reading, reading, reading - in love with words and the power they have to affect our minds, hearts and lives. Especially poetry.

I love too the seasons and the 'round of the year' - all the changes that repeat themselves, and remind us of the changes that are inevitable for us, and teach us to 'go with the flow', and accept and welcome change with grace.

Having always been very visually dominant (as we are encouraged to be in our western culture) I am learning now how important our other senses are in our connection with nature - touching, listening, smelling and tasting add so many more dimensions to our understanding and enjoyment of the natural world. My newest passion is learning how to make natural perfumes - using the scents of nature to create something that is therapeutic and beautiful. Scents can take us on a journey of memory like nothing else.

More and more we are being reminded of how important our connection with nature is for our health - physically, mentally and spiritually. We know this instinctively (as we are a part of nature) but it can get forgotten in our busy lives.

At the moment I am lucky enough to live in the countryside, and I roam with my camera, trying to catch the beauty and nature of wild things to share with others.

This poem by William Barnes was sung to me by my mother when I was young, and is a perfect illustration of the joys of country life - and working for oneself!

Linden Lea

Within the woodlands flowery gladed
By the oak trees mossy moot
The shining grass blades, timber shaded
Now do quiver underfoot
And birds do whistle overhead
And waters bubbling in its bed
And there for me the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea

When leaves that lately were a’springing
Now do fade within the copse
And painted birds do hush their singing
Up upon the timbers tops
And brown-leaved fruits a’turning red
In cloudless sunshine, overhead
With fruit for me the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea

Let other folk make money faster
In the air of dark-roomed towns
I don’t dread a peevish master
Though no man do heed my frowns
I be free to go abroad
Or take again my homeward road
To where for me the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea