Winter 2017 // Spurred on by ways of witness


The last three months came and went without the usual round up of inspiration. This, then, is a look back on the season as a whole. It seems both apt and reflective of life recently; parts have bled into it (and sometimes taken over) each other, rather than being neatly delineated.


In this period, when my mind has often been full and racing, photography has been a way it slowed down; not stopping exactly but at least pausing to look both ways before carrying on. I’ve been drawn to photo essays online (like this one and this wintry one). I was instantly enamoured with nostalgic nature the Lifeboat Station Project and the moments captured. I was stirred by some of the sentiments in this article that reminds us that,

“there still are beautiful things in the world…
All the time.
Every day.
All around us.
And for me, photography is my proof that I get to witness some of them.”

So we’ve joined some of those witnesses. We visited The Photographers’ Gallery with a friend back in January. Rather than having to engage with everyone, we allowed ourselves to linger on what we were drawn to, and pass by the rest. Going together meant the chance to discuss and delve into the images together.  And we’ve witnessed ourselves.


We found Winter in the Surrey Hills in the snow that lingered on trees – fallen and still standing. We withstood it on the cliff tops in Devon, emboldened in full waterproofs. We tasted it across seven courses of seasonal Somerset food; the dessert still lingers on my tongue.


I became aware of and taken action in support of the IC Change campaign on the Istanbul Convention Bill on preventing and combating violence against women and girls. I’ve been so heartened by what the incredible volunteers leading this campaign have achieved. I felt the heart pull of this year’s Show the Love campaign film; a love song for our climate-change-threatened world:

“I very much like you have been saved so many times by a view.”

A lunchtime craft session to sew our green hearts for the campaign reminded me of the restorative power of sewing, creating, stretching the hands as well as the mind. These hearts are our witness, our stand with others for a better and possible future.


Ah Winter, you’ve been an interesting season; more because of life change than any climatic elements. That said, I am glad of the growing light and warmth that we’re experiencing. We spent the past weekend clearing the garden, sewing seeds, repotting plants, and it wet my appetite. Not just for the food we’ll hopefully grow, but for the season ahead. ’Til next time Winter. Spring, you are very welcome.


This is part of a monthly series on the things that spur me on to keep going with intentional living. What has spurred you on recently?


Today’s soundtrack: Begin Again

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