Wood anemones

20 March was the date of the Spring Equinox, when night and day are perfectly balanced with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. For many of our ancestors this was a special time. The cycle of the sun was vital to them and they watched the skies closely, monitoring for signs of change. In many Celtic cultures the equinox was held to be a time when nature magic was particularly powerful, when everything was so perfectly balanced that small changes had a chance to make a big difference.

Walking through Cumbernauld’s woods right now you can see this magic all around. The landscape changes on almost a daily basis as new plants emerge from the soil, flowers bloom and insects and animals return. A wave of the magic wand and the white carpets of snowdrops are replaced by the glowing yellow of celandines; another day and another wave brings forth delicate wood anemones. Perhaps the magical words of a nature spell brought out the butterflies warming themselves in sunny spots, or the bumblebee queens busily prospecting for nests. A flash of orange might reveal a fox – now is the best time of year to spot these mystical animals in the woods. The males are collecting food for their new families, which are growing fast underground.

After a hard winter spent mostly indoors perhaps now is also the time to experience the magic of the woods and its power for change yourself. Time spent among nature can bring incredible benefits to your mood and wellbeing, changing lives and communities for the better. At Cumbernauld Living Landscape we are restarting our wellbeing and volunteering sessions to give everyone a chance to get outdoors. If you would like to take part then check our website www.CumbernauldLivingLandscape.org.uk for details.

Paul Barclay