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’.