Moving beyond words

July 12, 2016

It was my permaculture teacher Angus Soutar who first presented the idea to me that we are here on Earth to create. That was a few years ago, and since then, as I have gradually stilled myself and allowed creativity into my life I have found this to be true for me too.

When we are locked in the system of work, work, recovering from work, trying to find time to cook for ourselves, do the household jobs, watch a bit of telly to relax, creativity goes completely out of the window.

In the corporations, I was in quite a creative role all things considered, but it was not a creative environment. Idea to implementation could take up to two years. It was a slow slog to see ideas come into fruition, with multiple sign-off processes, influencing people to release budget, influencing people that your idea was a good one, and then it had to be presented within the context of the dreaded business case.

Out of this now, I can express my creativity in a much more free-flowing way. As I do this it inches forwards over time, along with my sou’s growth.

On our last weekend retreat in the Yorkshire Dales thirteen of us were working on taking our creative minds one giant step further, through connecting with the minds of our ancient ancestors, as they created their way through evolution. Through working with the very tools that they created; Stone Age axes, Iron Age spears, and even a paleolithic tool over 400,000 years old.

What a weekend it had been so far, and on the Saturday evening I retired to my patch of grass where I had laid out my bivvy bag and sleeping bag a few hours before. I was just meters away from the campfire, where a few souls were still gathered under the waxing moon. Warmed by the flames on this mild midsummer’s night, we had loosened our tongues with damson gin, shared stories, and recounted our journeys to the ancestors earlier that day.


Just after midnight, as we inched into the next day, I snuggled down in my sleeping bag, adorned in woolly hat and thick socks, and lay watching the stars show their faces one by one. Soft voices punctuated by cackles of laughter came from the campfire, as I drifted from this world to the next. There is something really warming to the heart when I drift off to sleep to the sound of laughter around the campfire. It calms me. It tells me of what is really important in this world. Not the trappings of consumerism,  busyness of business, stuff and more stuff. It’s sharing good times with with good people in good surroundings.

The next morning we listened to poetry, and then created our own. Such beautiful words stirred between us all in our hay bale circle in the barn. Something magical happened, beyond words and beyond time. Perhaps a whisper of how it was with our distant forebears, when they were in community, immersed in nature all of the time.

At The Way of the Buzzard we are claiming a piece of that back for our culture right now. It’s much needed, and we hope to share more good creative times with you in the months and years ahead.

We are back at Lower Winskill farm one more time this year,  on the weekend of the 12th to 14th August for our Finding Freedom through Rewilding weekend. Together we will un-tame our minds by connecting in with the wild beasts. If you are interested in joining us please click here to find out more.


About the Author


Nicola Smalley is an edge-dweller, shamanic practitioner and writer living in Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, England.
Following a career in corporate sustainability, she now runs The Way of the Buzzard with her husband Jason. Her passion is anything connected to nature and the mysteries of the Earth.

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  1. Loved reading your post Nicola and identify so much with what you’re sharing. Love the idea of falling asleep under a starry sky next to a fire!!
    Love and light Shirley-Ann xxx

    1. Thank you Shirley-Ann – it’s a very dreamy picture isn’t it, and so simple (as long as you don’t mind the odd bug doing a fly-by from time to time while you sleep!) xxx

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