Pumpkin Pancakes and a Sunday Adventure in the Woods
It has been a productive couple of days, designing, painting, creating samples and of course, baking! I'm happy with what I have accomplished, but I'm never happy when I'm stuck inside for days on end. When this happens I keenly feel the need to be surrounded by greenery and tall trees. I feel the call of the forest. I think every Finnish person does, and if too long a period goes by, and we don't step foot into the calming space that only many trees can provide, we feel slightly ill at ease. I think the soul of a Finn is connected to nature in a way that is hard to ignore. I recently discovered that there exists a word that describes this state, this love of forests and greenery. I am what you would call a Nemophilist - a haunter of the woods, someone who loves the forest and its beauty and solitude. Nemophilist. My new favourite word! I find myself quietly saying it every now and then, calmed by the very sound it makes at is rolls off my tongue.
Being in forest - surrounded by tall trees and bird song brings me great delight. I try to visit as often as I can and find myself drawn to the serenity of the forest so badly sometimes that I have to stop everything else I’m doing and go and seek out a quite place in the wilderness, where I can listen to my thoughts and linger over ideas, or simply take in the green space around me.
Each and every one of us, not just us Finns, have a unique relationship with the great outdoors, the forests, the sacred green places that call to our souls. And each of us, I’m sure, find and search for different things in these places.
When I reflect on how the woods hold significance in my life, I realise the wilderness has always been a safe haven for me, a place to get lost, a place to find magic, and a place to reconnect with what it is to be human. I think it’s one of the places I feel most me, aside from being in the kitchen, and the Redwood Forest in East Warburton is one of my favourite spots to escape and recharge.
The Californian Redwood trees were planted by the Board of Works in about 1930 for experimental purposes as part of the Board’s hydrology research program, and there are over 1476 trees ranging from 20 metres to the tallest being 55 metres. It is a magical place to wander and spend a day. The woods remind me of a place you would find fairy tale creatures, and glimpse Little Red Hiding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. The tall trees allowing a scattering of light, creating shadowed places and darkly lit paths. There are large nests, that might belong to any number of creatures and a feeling of being somewhere a bit other worldly. It sets the wheels of imagination turning and before long, you think you have walked through a rift in time and stumbled into a world littered with creatures who might not share your DNA. I love the effect places like this have, I also love the little town of Warburton, a short 10 minute drive from the forest.
Wurburton is a truly lovely little town in the Yarra Valley, on the Warburton Highway. The village is filled with quaint shops, cafes and is surrounded by greenery with the Yarra River flowing through the town. You can easily spend the day here, walking along the river or embarking on any number or hikes from the town. Or you might decide to take it easy and spend the day on a cafe crawl, or have a picnic by the banks of the river. All are lovely things to do!
We started our day with pumpkin pancakes before heading off on an hours drive to reach Warburton, where we strolled the main street, shopped for a few trinkets and Christmas gifts before having lunch at one to the cute cafes. Afterwards we took an easy stroll around the riverbank, before driving off the the Redwood Forest, where we spend the most delightful afternoon exploring the area and enjoying each others company sans child.
It was a pretty magical day, and reminded me how important it is remove yourself from your normal routine every now and then, and find some serenity in the wilderness.
It also reminded me of how fantastic it is to have adventures, and walk in the wild with willing feet, a curious mind and a grateful heart.
Love and light,