Weaver of Grass whose blog I enjoy immensely suggested an 'Inspiration' themed Wednesday blog day for her 'followers' & I have thought long & hard about what or who is my greatest inspiration. Readers of my blog will know that I am animal mad, I always have been for as long as I can remember. So I tried to think what inspired this love of creatures & Nature.
My first pet was a budgie that I named Rupert, but I was only a small girl & I don't remember that much about him, except that I taught him to say 'pretty boy' & that when he died I was given another budgie that I named Rupert II! One was bright green & one was bright blue but I don't remember which was which. My dear Nan had a cat Dinky who I loved to pieces. She was a tortoiseshell cat & I used to sit still for ages so that she could enjoy my lap. She smelled a little & dribbled when you fussed her, but I did love her so. Finally, after lots of pleading I remember, we got a cat of our own, & then followed a procession of cats through the years. When I left home I surrounded myself with as many pets as I could get away with! Some of my first pets arrived quite by accident, homeless or unwanted creatures who I didn't have the heart to turn away. My first dog was one such unwanted soul & I discovered that oh so special dog / owner bond that I can't ever imagine being without now. Our move into the countryside 6 years ago was just an open invitation for me to fill our new home with a greater variety of creatures!
I have always enjoyed animal programmes on telly, from Blue Peter's pets, to the wonderful Animal Magic with Johnny Morris, to the various epic David Attenborough documentaries. But I can't say that these have been my inspiration.
Mum will say that I have always had a 'way' with animals. I don't know what people mean exactly when they say that, but I guess it means you have a certain empathy with animals & they are maybe more drawn to you than other people. So following this thought trail I hit the nail on the head. I know what my inspiration is! I know it's going to sound a little crazy perhaps! But my inspiration isn't a person, an object or a piece of writing. It is a feeling! It is the feeling I have always felt when surrounded by Nature. From living in London when I was young & enjoying trips to the local park to feed the ducks, to yearning to live in the countryside as I got older. It's all to do with a feeling. An inspirational, tangible feeling. It's calming, yet heart pounding. Mellowing, yet intoxicating. It's like a narcotic. I can breathe it in & it courses through my veins. It's there in my heart when I watch my hens free ranging in the field, or see my little mallard ducklings grow day-by-day, or stroke my dogs as they cuddle up to me. It's there in a rainbow, in a breathtaking country view, in a butterfly's dance or the sound of geese overhead. It moves me to the core. I hope that I will never, ever lose sight of my inspiration or forget to take pleasure in the simple beauty in the Natural World around me.