My not for profit organisation, Corridor Arts, that I run with artist Andrew Martyn Sugars, successfully applied for funding so I could train as a forest school leader, we want to explore creativity outdoors and the impact it can have on children's development.
I recently spent a week in a wood just outside Mansfield, where, if I'm honest, I experienced a life changing event.
It was a gradual process, starting with me feeling nervous about meeting a new group of people and barking on a new path. As the week went on, we made friends, became supportive of each other, chatted, shared stories and even though I hate to use such a cliche, bonded as a group.
By the end of the week, I was happily closing my eyes and being led around the wood and singing loudly at the trees.
I did things I never thought I would dare, as I am basically a bit of a wimp...
But back in my day job on Monday and a trip to Whitepost Farm, I heard myself agreeing to hold a python and a bearded dragon (ok, I was excited about holding a real dragon but rather terrified of the python!). I'm in my 40's (gulp) but if such an experience can have an impact on my slightly cynical grey matter, can you imagine the impression it would have on the developing, fresh and excited brain of a 10 year old?
I felt braver, I felt I could do anything and face any fears. After all, just two days earlier I had sung and danced in a wood with my new forest family. I have a deep sense of contentment.
Now then, where's my knife, I have a spoon finish carving!