Mist, elves and toadstools

29 Oct 2023

I was supposed to be going to London by train last weekend, but bad weather meant that all the trains were cancelled. The was a lot of uncertainty about whether or not the trains would run, so I spent the whole afternoon frantically checking train company websites, Twitter feeds and news on the internet. 

The websites told me that there was flooding at Grantham and delays were to be expected until 18.00 hrs, so I even booked a second train ticket in the evening with a train company that didn’t have trains coming from Scotland where the worst of the weather was. All to no avail. 

Internet social media told me that there were people stuck all over the place and Kings Cross station was so crowded it had to be closed. That made me worry about people that were travelling, perhaps with small children or elderly.

This left me in a state of anxiety and pretty much unable to do anything sensible.

The trip to London was to attend some quite difficult meetings in person and I’d prepared myself for them. Now it was all unravelled and everything would need to be rescheduled, replanned and primed all over again. Last week Teg wrote about ‘distorted thought patterns’ and I had plenty of that going on.

The next morning it was still raining and very misty. Not very conducive for a walk on the moor but I had to get out and about to settle myself. I read Teg’s Moodscope post and that helped me galvanise and get my big boots on. I made up the fire in the stove so the cottage would be warm when I got back, donned a raincoat and set off.

There is a bit of one of my normal walks that runs along the edge of the moorland escarpment where stunted oak and birch trees grow over rocky crags. They are very atmospheric in foggy mist and at this time of year are full of toadstools and bracket fungi of all sorts of different shapes and colours.

The storm might have stopped the trains from running but the fungi were definitely enjoying themselves, plumped up with moisture and almost glowing. The mist envelops the woods with silence and it made me think of these line’s from Wendell Berry’s poem, The Peace of Wild Things:

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

Even in fine weather I find these woods atmospheric and rather mysterious. In thick mist my imagination populates them with elves, goblins, wood spirits and magic. It’s all rather wonderful.

I got back to my fire-warmed cottage a bit damp, but equilibrium restored and ready for a slice of toast and honey.

Do the Moodscope posts also help you to do the things that we know help our mental health, such as getting out in nature? I also did some laundry, house cleaning and tidying up as I unexpectedly had a day in hand.

Rowan on the Moor

A Moodscope member

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Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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