Leewood, the place I am lucky to be at right now, is more than magic glamping. After Nick attended last November’s Permaculture Course at High Heathercombe, she and Ryan decided to transform a relatively small patch of pasture into a land-regeneration food-production project.
Ah, thistles… such beautiful plants. Stubborn, humble and loud. Their punk-like flowers come in all sizes, and remind me of that most coveted of lands…
I came across burdock—specifically the “Greater Burdock”, Arctium lappa—very soon after arriving in Europe, when I looked into my first european herbal in search of a natural hair tonic. Unfortunately, the book had a very poor picture, and it took me a long time to recognise it live. This is also due to its ability to change quite drastically from teenage- to adulthood.
After a convolutedly wonderful, if unfinished and rather exhausting, walk from one corner of Dartmoor to the other, and quite a number of weeks spent immersed in an amazing garden, in grounding myself and finding a path forward, we found out that the straight way between Leewood and High Heathercombe is actually quite beautiful and much easier. Especially since a bus runs from Yelverton–a mere half hour walk away–to Postbridge, shortening the way to roughly half. That still leaves around three hours of walking through moors and forests. The overall trip only takes about half a day, so it has already happened twice in a bit more than a fortnight.
Some people go diving to see sharks, turtles, barracudas, dolphins… In short, big fish. Well, probably the majority of people. Me, I like the little gems, shining all around, making every corner a treasure cove. Those small crabs, the tiny blennies, brittle stars… The “details”, so to speak.
Same with a story. Who cares about the plot (especially since, apparently, most stories follow the same plot), when there are all those interesting scenes, thoughts, twists and turns? I guess it is like with life itself. One wants to see the bigger picture–and that’s certainly something good–but lives are lived on the moment. In any instant there is no future, and the past is just a memory. Of course, a lot of details together make a big picture, just like a lot of scenes make a plot. And it is that lot of little sea critters what makes a reef. And individuals, their own selves, can produce a supra-organism, with superpowers beyond each one’s capabilities. But that is certainly food for another post.
Leewood is like a coral reef. Magnificent, yes, impressive in its size and splendour. But, just like a reef, it is made of a miriad of details. And, just like for a good story, the details have been thought- and heartfully put together, so that they are in their natural place. In every corner there is something to find, which, after a smile of surprise, simply makes sense. As if it could not live anywhere else but there. I like to get lost in the details (self-irony intended), so what better place to be?