The Green Man – Julie Armstrong

Green man face, door, snail
The Green Man - Image Credit: Julie Armstrong
Green man face, door, snail
The Green Man – Image Credit: Julie Armstrong

This is a writing sketch of me walking alone in the Cheshire countryside near where I live. I either walk alone or with my Jack Russell companion: Roob. All my 3 writing ‘sketches’ are from walking this area during the pandemic.   

The landscape opens around me like a child’s pop-up book all blue sky and rolling meadows. I saunter, a snail’s pace, following a winding path fragrant with honeysuckle and meadowsweet, brilliant with bird song and butterflies, and come across a faery tale house sighing spells. I think I see a wild-man of mystery. It’s a moment… 

Julie is a ‘wild’ writer, walker and yogini. She has written for The Guardian’s Country Diary and has a PhD in Creative Writing. Walking in the natural world is part of her creative process. The wide sky anchors her mind like a mantra. She settles, slows down, pays full attention and comes out of her mind and into her body and senses. Her eyes fix on: colour, shape, pattern. She observes birds, flowers and trees. She smells the earth and tastes wood sorrel. Her ears pick up burbling brooks and the buzz of bumble bees. She feels rain, sunshine, the wind and snow. She takes photographs on her phone. Savouring the moment, she collates all of these wild things including: images, thoughts, impressions, atmospheres, transformations and people in her journal. Later, she re-drafts her notes to paint pictures with words which she posts on her Facebook along with her writing ‘sketches’, some of which have been collated into 2 books during the pandemic: The Magic Of Wild Things, 2020 and The Root & The Wing, 2021.  This practice is ongoing through all the seasons.  She is currently writing a further book built upon this walking / writing /natural world practice: Walking The Celtic Wheel