Connect to Nature online Class!

Week 1: 25th March 2020- All Things Twiggy!!

This term we were due to start the class at St Nicks using the theme of Trees. As we are no longer able to meet on the reserve, I thought we could have fun with trees as a theme for our first online creative writing class! Following our usual format, I’m going to set out the class exercises below, feel free to have a go and leave your writing / comments in the box below! Top tip: Try to write using all your senses (taste, sound, touch, smell and sight) don’t just tell me about it, show me by placing me in the situation you are writing about.

Task 1: Instead of a walk around the reserve, please use your view, your garden, or green space to notice anything tree related! You might be lucky enough to have trees growing close by, if you don’t perhaps you can spend five minutes thinking about a favourite tree, or one that you like to climb in childhood. *Free write for five minutes about your observations, or a tree related memory!

Task 2: (5 mins) List ten things you can do with a stick! (Be as creative as you like – these are often good start points for a story).

Task 3: (10 mins) A place of solace. Imagine that you are out walking and come across a beautiful woodland. You venture into the woods and discover a large old oak tree that has a large hollow opening in its trunk. Intrigued you look inside – what do you find? (Hints: Use your imagination, is it an opening to another world? Perhaps there is a stair case inside, or perhaps you come across a nest or something unusual?)

Task 4: (5 – 10 minutes) Imagine being able to have a bird’s eye view from the top of a tree where you live. What can you see from your view? How does the land look in contrast to what you see from the ground? What does it feel like being at the top of the tree!?

Inspiration: If you have enjoyed these writing exercises you might also be inspired to know that trees can produce beautiful music! Check out this link where you can hear the sounds of trees via music that has been created by translating the patterns of a tree’s ring to sounds!

  • Pictures re this weeks class kindly sent in by Sean and Meg – see comments below.

Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

9 thoughts on “Connect to Nature online Class!

  1. I like to stare out of my bedroom window as we look out towards the village hall. Due to the growth of many trees around the hall. You can’t currently see it because of the vast amount of trees. Different shades of green as spring blossoms. The roof top of a private bungalow with an extension sits amongst the trees. I like to call the view 50 shades of green. It’s relaxing when there is a light breeze and the view can clear your mind as from one window you can see the seasons change. The village hall appears again when the trees are bare and a light shines bright from a window at night. Spring is my favourite time of year as daffodils appear in every garden but they come and go. I was never a tree climber and I am no tree surgeon but the different shades of green and watching the seasons change is just so wonderful and it is nature at it’s best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Task 1:

    When I was looking outside into the community garden a weird memory came flooding back to me! When I was in primary school (I must have been about 9 years old at the time) we were taken somewhere on school trip. I remember nothing about that trip, appart from when we were let loose on ‘free time’ in a wooded area. We were surrounded by lots and lots of trees, and me and my 3 friends decided to use the twigs, sticks and logs to create out own campfire (without the flames), I was showing off my knowledge of campfire songs (perks of being a Cub Scout), and I remember pretending to roast marshmellows on our twiggy campfire! I remember nothing else – appart from free we felt. I miss having a childs imagination!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautiful memory Holly, the most exciting part of your memory is – I’ve found through interacting more and more with nature you can recapture that feeling. Let’s go play in the woods and roast some marshmallows when we are allowed out to play again ❤️

      Like

  3. Words from the lovely Caroline!

    My 10. Stick ideas
    Pooh sticks
    Create a Christmas star
    Build a warming fire
    Inspiration for writing or art
    For a dog to chomp on
    Support for trailing plants
    Build a shelter
    To mark where seeds are planted
    A cinnamon stick to flavour milk
    Sword fighting!

    Thank you Caroline! I love these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More lovely words – this time from Meg …

      Half alive growing. Half decaying rotten. A twin tree. Both providing habitats and nutrients. How can this be? How can it still stand? What animals, birds, insects and fungi are hidden in those hollows? I wish I could see you now half clothed in green. Half bare and stark. Still beautiful in texture and shape.

      Like a body or mind with its own imperfections. Still standing tall and proud.

      Thank you Meg 🙂 Meg also sent me a picture of the tree she was writing about. I will add it to the bottom of the class post.

      Liked by 1 person

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