On a nippy but clear and sunny day last February, I was privileged to join Leona and Damian and a selection of fifteen or so other lovely humans for Live Wild’s Singing in the Woods event, in a secret woodland location in South Manchester combining two of my favourite things; singing and trees. What’s not to love?!
The day began with teas and some freshly made cleaver water to open the throat and clear the system. Then we got on with the business of raising our voices to the trees, combining in song from languages from around the world, encompassing a range of rhythms and vibrations but consistently infused with simplicity and joy.
During our lunch break, we lit the fire with a simple ceremony and accompanying song, and heated some curried soup to warm and soothe us for the afternoon’s activities
The group had mixed feelings about singing in public at the outset of the day. We all wanted to sing, but we had varying confidence about our abilities. When we began, our feelings ranged from unabashed enthusiasm to anxiety, nerves and outright fear, but not long into the day everyone’s inhibitions had been thrown to the winds in the safe and reassuring hands of our enthusiastic, experienced and knowledgeable facilitators. We sang, we danced, we harmonised and experimented and we lifted our hearts and voices to the trees. And actually, we sounded pretty good!
It is emotional and a little magical to sing in nature, it feels like a two-way exchange with the plants and wildlife. It’s well known that plants thrive when gardeners talk to them, I like to think that our vocal efforts were as well-received by our rooted audience as we were healed and nourished by the presence of the trees, the flowers and the accompanying chorus of the birds.
Leona and Damian will be singing again in Calderdale on Sunday 23rd June.