On the 21st of this month I was up in Northumberland teaching tracking. On arrival at the woods I realised I was being transported back in time to over 31 years ago.
The woodland was between Otterburn and Redesdale on the edge of the artillery ranges there, and as I began to set up my tent I heard the guns fire for the first time in a long time.
Funny thing is it felt kind of reassuring in a way. Throughout the course there were fire missions taking place, even during teaching some of the lessons I could hear the shells sailing overhead and in the distance the muffled crump of the shell impacting on its target.
Life back then was good, of course it had its moments, good bosses, bad bosses, getting things right making mistakes some remain the butt of jokes even to today, and that's fine because you find yourself laughing at your own stupidity as well, perhaps even louder than the others. But in that laughter there is a recognition that you belong to a special group of people who perhaps within normal life in civvy street you would not get on with but none the less you have this bond with them and they with you.
Life was colourful, it had very distinct flavours which cannot be found in this life and perhaps nor should they be, maybe that's what makes that life special in its own right.
I also found that for the first that I can remember I slept for two nights without waking up once, when I shared this with a friend he suggested that instead of playing some tranquil music to help me sleep maybe I ought to play the sound of guns firing.
Was it the sound of the guns that helped sleep or was it because of some memory of times when you were in situations that were dangerous and yet you felt safe because of the relationship and comradery you had at that time Who knows.
And so to this life...
A life that is also very colourful and has its own unique flavour and style to it and as you seek to find your footing in this world of chaos, you encounter people who are just as special in their own right, your experiences are different but built on the ones that went before. This gives you the sure footing needed to move forward but without the closely knitted support that was very much part of the other life still, you move on.
Nature has, is and will always be a very important part of my life and I have been blessed to have been in some very remote places in the world, I have seen things that some can only see on TV, I have encountered wildlife at close quarters from the four corners of the earth.
Nature helps me to stay grounded she teaches me so much about myself and spirit helps me to understand the things that are taking place to see things in way so powerful you are left in awe at how it touches you
So here I am at this juxtaposition on the other side of the woods the guns are still firing the people I am with are experiencing knew ways of looking at their lives through the tracks on the ground while listening to my question. "who are you when you come to the track?" are you the student who wants to see wildlife through the story they leave you on mother earth, are you the policemen looking to prove something to get promoted, perhaps the search and rescue guy who wants to be with liked minded people and to give his dog real life problems to solve or are you the mother of the lost child?
So who am I when I come to the track?
I am me, the one who is open to learning even during the times I find it difficult to be open. The one who desires to be of service to others in the best way possible, the one who is happy with life and is not afraid to say, "well I f%@ked that one up" and now I am looking outwards to the new life that lays ahead and wondering how that will be, ones things for sure, it will be colourful.