30 Days Wild: Three ways to seek the magic in nature

Jennifer Lane

Coffee. Commute. Computer. Repeat. Living in a city, the magic of the natural world can sometimes feel pretty elusive. How do you connect with the green blur outside the train window?

The city means no fields thick with cuckooflower, no freshly wetted soil to sink your fingers into, no leverets haring it across the hill. A whole lot of pigeons though.

I’ve found it tricky living in a place like Manchester – on Monday morning that spiritual connection with the Earth is just one big ‘nope’ – but I’ve found some sneaky things we all can do to find that wildness wherever we are.

1. Tune in

I’m no stranger to the magic of places – I’ve been a practising Pagan for 16 years. Plenty of that time has involved tinkering with herbs on my windowsill and gazing dreamily at the moon like a poster of my teenage crush, but the majority of it has been spent outside listening to the garden and working with the seasons. Everything about nature, the budding trees and the patter of rain, is inviting. I’ve found that nature wants you to touch it, absorb it; it wants you to get involved.

Nature wants you to notice it

When the world seems to be made of concrete, take a few moments to find that quiet place where you can tap into the crescent moon or the morning birdsong and see how it makes you feel – touch it, smell it, taste it! How do you feel now?

Nature blogger Jennifer Lane walking through a wildflower meadow

Jennifer Lane

2. Explore ‘witch country’

The whole of the North West is rippling with folklore and it’s right on our doorstep.

You don’t have to travel up to the Lakes or down to Glastonbury to feel a deep connection with a place – Lancashire has many sacred spots filled with myth. Just take Blackley in Greater Manchester; go back a hundred years and it was said to be haunted by boggarts – malevolent spirits lurking in the woods; there were fairies stealing babies near Preston; and let’s not forget Pendle: the ultimate hide-out for witches. Lancashire had all the drama.

Toe-curling tales aside, Lancashire’s rich history of stories and superstition connect it with the magic of the natural world in a way that few other places in the North of England are. Wrapped up in the beautiful and sometimes rugged landscape, the Lancashire hills can be the perfect place to escape to at the weekend.

Lancashire’s rich history of stories and superstition connect it with the magic of the natural world

Why not buy a book on folklore, or maybe you’ve already heard some of your local legends? What magic made your hometown famous? You don’t need a pointy hat to feel connected.

Foggy view from the top of Pendle Hill in Barley

Clouds hanging over the view from Pendle Hill

3. Find a small patch of earth

Maybe you haven’t got a lot of space, but we all have access to something green, big or small. It might be under a tree in the local park. It might be the flowerbed next to the bench where you eat your lunch. It might be next to the basil plant on your windowsill.

Found your spot? This is your sacred space. It’s just for you. It’s the place where nature wants you to feel it. This is a place to close your eyes and breathe in the smell of fresh things growing.

Seek out your place, take a deep breath of summer.

Go on, I dare you.

This 30 Days Wild, it’s time to step out of the office and really tap into the magic of the natural world around us. We might have to look hard, but it’s there! Wherever you work or live, this 30 Days Wild, get outside, discover the wild past of your area, and feel connected with the place that you call home.

You can share your 30 Days Wild adventures with us on social media. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #30DaysWild.

Nature blogger Jennifer Lane in her home studio

Jennifer Lane

About the author
 

Jennifer Lane is freelance writer and naturalist based in Manchester. She has written for several wildlife charities, and her environmental pieces have been featured in British Vogue and The Week Junior.