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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht

Nature Finds a Way

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Sure enough, with September comes a turning of the tides, a change in the weather and the sea.

As the sun cut through the misty atmosphere today, I felt compelled to walk down to the seaside. The bay was churning, spitting up sea plants and saltwater. I wanted to feel some of the spray and sun on my face, to wake myself up from my foggy head, and inject a dose of nature’s reality into my day.

As I trudged down the path to the seaweed strewn shore, the roar became louder, the calls of gulls piercing through the rumble of the waves. The sound was almost deafening, but in the most wonderful way. It was enlivening.

Making my way through the washed up seaweed and down to an area cleared by the lowering tide, I stopped to notice some bird prints, almost as big as mine!

A grey heron, no doubt.

A ripple of water flowed from the mill over the rocks and down through the tide-washed sand, creating a large spine-like stream infused with the rusty red of peat water meeting saltwater. I stood for a while, marvelling at the pattern it created in the sand.

And the colour!

Willing to do almost anything to get closer to those waves, I slowly climbed onto the exposed rocks, taking great care so as not to slip.

Similar ripple-like patterns to the peat-infused stream appeared on stone surfaces....

And a dotting of barnacles over grey slate like stones made walking a little easier and sure footed.

I looked up....

Foam was gathering in the crevices of rock and catching in the weed.

I clambered out further, camera in hand, only glancing up when my grip felt sure and a moment allowed. Then I stood up tall. I was the only one out there in that bay, and it was exhilarating.

The mist cleared almost completely for a while...

After spending some time breathing in the fresh air, the warm wind blowing around me, I slowly made my way back again, stopping to notice the warm variety of colour in the tide pools and on the rock surfaces.

I spotted some laver (nori), and pick a little bit of it, with the idea of making laver cakes later on.

The lines of Yvonne Lyon's newly released song ran through my head as I returned home:

'Every flower that’s opening, every bird that sings,

will(s) us to keep on keeping on.

Nature finds a way to share the light in everything,

and always treasures everybody’s song.'

(See more about Yvonne Lyon's song below.)

The plight of the world may seem ominous, and reports riddled with terrible stories. Life does not appear to be getting any easier. It can be hard not to be bogged down by it all, absorbing the news and pain of others' plights, alongside dealing with the usual (or sometimes unusual) challenges of our everyday lives.

As I followed the compulsion to step out into the light of day and my surroundings, I experienced a new angle on things. It does not necessarily change some of the difficulties happening in the world. I may be made all the more aware of those. But it helped bring perspective, making space for fresh thinking and new revelations - ideas that might contribute in some small way to all that is good, helping to bring restoration and change.

While what I was returning to at home was not perfect or completely sorted, I felt stronger and lighter. I was transformed in a small way by being out in the wildness of nature.

And just as the mist had cleared during my walk, the fog of my mind also lifted, and I felt more secure in my footing; more determined in my decision-making and the way forward.


Yvonne Lyon is a Scottish singer/songwriter and a good friend. Her new song 'Entwined' was recently released. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this single features a painting of mine on the cover.

Here is what she writes about the making of this song:

During lockdown 2020 I was inspired to write every week as part of an online writer's group. A phrase that was used regularly during this time was, ‘well at least we’re all in the same boat’. It really bothered me because clearly, we were not. So I wrote Entwined. Fast forward to 2022 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We were on tour with Arcelia in March and each night we sang a song together for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. The idea formed to release a song to raise money for a Ukrainian charity. I was moved by the story of the Dnipro Kids being evacuated to Scotland. It reminded my of my time working with children in Romania many years ago. So, all the proceeds from Entwined will go directly to Dnipro Kids. Entwined is a digital release only on Bandcamp. We would love you to buy the track for whatever you can afford to help us raise lots of money. Arcelia sing the beautiful backing vocal arrangement on the track. The artwork is a found object piece by artist Monique Sliedrecht that sits on my fireplace and has resonated with me so much in these tough years. Thank you for your support and hope you enjoy the song. X

✨ Click here to listen. ✨

Much love to you all from Freswick Bay x

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