Born to be wild – just a little

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Radio Two’s playing of ‘Born to be Wild’ was just perfect as I drove back into radio range and, needless to say, phone range.  I had been out in the wilds of the Cambrian Mountains, staying at Dolgoch and exploring a little of the area around there.  The wilds of mid-Wales had been a little delayed because of the cold winter, so the lambs were still new at the end of May, and the bluebells just opening out.  I was travelling seulement, but certainly not alone.  The chattering swallows and house-martins and chaffinches and siskins were most amusing companions and their aerial contortions were most entertaining.  One day I walked out onto the moorland to see the magnificent views.  Two or three cars passed – one kindly pausing to ask if I was ok – yes, just out walking – but apart from that, no other human contact.  The wind got stronger from the West – right into my face, and it had quite a chill to it.  I didn’t really want to battle against the wind and I saw up ahead a rocky escarpment that some sheep were sheltering by.  Just the ticket!

Sheep are shy creatures, so as I approached they bleated and fled.  After a long while, some of them got curious and whilst keeping a respectful distance they came and stared.  I thought I’d try out what works with deer! Exhale sharply through your nose, and see their reaction.  I did.  They stared most pointedly and sniffed back! We exchanged a few sniffs, caught up in each others’ attention.  Ah, you see, we are connected – creatures together; certainly there are great differences but there are some similarities too – we both sharing this more-than-human world.

We connected, but couldn’t communicate.  And as I sat solo on the rock on the moor, I thought about friendship and how very precious it is: those special people in your life who know you warts and all, and who help you realise the person you are; whose companionship is a way of saying

‘You’re doing just fine; you’re great company; I’m glad you’re here’.

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