These emails are sent out every new moon as a day to particularly remember our beautiful planet in prayer, meditation, awareness or involvement, with love, hope and gratitude. If you would like to be on the mailing list then please Contact Jane.

23rd December 2022

We are just past the solstice and beginning the winter when cold and dark drive us inside to the light and the warmth and perhaps to a fire.  The earth is the only place in our solar system where there is fire because fire needs oxygen to burn.  Fire was essential to enable early humans to colonise the earth as it kept them warm in colder areas.  It also gave them light in the dark, enabled them to cook, to keep wild animals away, and to process their tools.  Some farming communities have used fire to clear the land, and wild fires have been helpful to clear old vegetation and leave space and nutrients for new growth.  Fire has been a great gift.  But recently there have been more frequent, larger and higher intensity wildfires which are destroying valuable ground cover, trees and wildlife plus nearby buildings.  Fire is one of many aspects of our planet where we need to see balance restored. 

Hoping you all have enough ‘fire’ for your warmth and cooking this winter, and sending love to those who don’t.

Winter Solstice

It is the time of the fading light,
a time when leaves are fallen,
birds are hushed
and cold has taken
the reigns.

The winter solstice.
The sun’s pause in its passing
before starting, so slowly,
to return.

Can we pause?
Can we follow its journey
into our own inner depths
and darkness
and find a rest there?

For tomorrow there will be fire
to warm the cold,
and friends
to warm the heart,

living in the interconnectedness
of all things,
our journey and the sun’s,
our darkness and our light,
and the fire that flames
at each connection.

23rd November 2022

Our planet is more than the things we can see and touch.  It is also our atmosphere, our air.  We are the only planet we know of with an atmosphere that supports life as we know it.  It wasn’t always like this.  Our early atmosphere was formed from volcanic gasses including water vapour, ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulphide and

ten to two hundred times as much carbon dioxide as in today’s atmosphere.  Much of the carbon dioxide dissolved in the oceans.  Eventually a simple form of bacteria developed that could live on energy from the sun and carbon dioxide in the water, producing oxygen as a waste product. A lot of this early oxygen was taken up by oxidation of minerals in the sediments and rocks. The ammonia was split into nitrogen and hydrogen by sunlight and that hydrogen combined with other elements or was lost to space as it was so light.  The oxygen level eventually increased and ultraviolet light from the sun split the molecules to create the ozone UV shield enabling life in the air and not just under water.  Our atmosphere at present is about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases.

We enjoy a relationship where plants use carbon dioxide for energy and growth and give off oxygen, while we and most animals use oxygen for our energy and give off carbon dioxide.  But things change.  In times past such as the Carboniferous era that had huge forests producing the coal measures (about 300m years ago) the oxygen level was higher than today allowing foot long dragonflies.  And today we are facing problems of climate change caused by an increase in the levels of carbon dioxide and methane.  Never was the composition of our air so important. 


When I was a kid
I didn’t think there was anything there
where air reigns,
just the space between shapes and lives.
I didn’t think space mattered.

I didn’t see that I wouldn’t see
anything at all
if not held by space,
there would be no square or round or prism,
no face,

no place for love to grow between,
no words or songs or might have been,
no beauty.

I didn’t know
that air was so full
when it looked so empty,
that it carried chemicals
for our breath, our plants, our fire,
for rain,

that it held up planes and slowed down cars,
that it pushed without weighing
anything at all,
that it moved to give wind
and rippled to bring sound
to my ear.

I didn’t understand
that air invisibly enables
all things.

24th October 2022

Soil is something we don’t think of much unless we are a gardener or a farmer.  But it is crucial for the life of our planet, and we are learning how to look after it better.  Soil is not just earth and a few worms.  It is full of life.  In fact most of the wildlife in your back garden is in the soil, and a teaspoon of soil holds more life than there are people on this planet.

Much of this life is microorganisms including bacteria which breakdown waste organic matter and turn it into compost.  Without them not only would our soils not be fertile but we would drown under a sea of fallen leaves.  There are networks of fungi mycelia that also break down organic matter.  More than that, they form a network that surrounds the roots of plants and trees and nourishes them, helping them absorb water and nutrients, stimulating root growth and protecting them from some diseases.  They also bind the soil particles together that increases the amount of water it can hold.  These and other organisms are disturbed by deep digging or ploughing so farmers are now encouraged to practice ‘min-till’ – minimum tillage, drilling new seeds direct into the soil without ploughing first.   

Soil is important for decomposing waste, for holding water to prevent flooding, for storing carbon, and of course for having the structure, organisms and nutrients that will grow healthy plants. 


There’s no dirt
like earth,
no rubitinyourfingers richness
that will grow me a green tree,
no other matrix
of microbe, mouldered leaf
and stone,
honeycombed with water and air,
furrowed by worms
for plunging roots.

So easy to despise
as dirt
the dust that forms our food,
that moors our bodies,
that links us to deeper mysteries –

the slow time of centred rock,
the cold holding of hot memories,
the love and lure
of dark gravity
as it pools and congeals
in whirls of magnetic coupling.

And spinning alone in space
with a jewelled face
our earthplanet,
twirling the sun
in a silent dance
to lift my soul

if I notice
what lives beneath my feet,
if I remember
what lies beyond the skies.

25th September 2022

What happens when we relate to our planet, to our cat or dog, to a tree?  It used to be thought that only humans had consciousness but now we know different.  The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act became law in the UK in April.  This recognises that all vertebrates and some invertebrates (eg lobsters, crabs and octopuses) are sentient – are aware and experience feelings such as joy, fear and pain.  Even insects have been shown to have unique responses and personalities. Our consciousness was assumed to originate in our brain but now it seems that the brain does not produce consciousness but acts as a kind of receiver for it.  We are learning more about consciousness from octopuses which have a very small brain but each arm has its own consciousness and personality. 

Beyond animals, plants too respond in ways we did not expect, reacting to different types of music, and thriving or failing in response to praise or criticism.  Each morning when I walk the dogs I have a place where I stop and sing to the trees, and they seem to listen.  In our relationships with animals and plants, do we share consciousness at some level?

‘While stroking an octopus, it is easy to fall into reverie.  To share such a moment of deep tranquillity with another being, especially one as different from us as the octopus, is a humbling privilege.  It’s a shared sweetness, a gentle miracle, an uplink to universal consciousness – the notion, first advanced by pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Anaxagoras in 480BC, of sharing an intelligence that animates and organizes all life.  The idea of universal consciousness suffuses both Western and Eastern thought and philosophy, from the “collective unconscious” of psychologist Carl Jung, to unified field theory, to the investigations of the Institute of Noetic Sciences founded by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell in 1973.  I feel blessed by the thought of sharing with an octopus what one website calls “an infinite, eternal ocean of intelligent energy”.  Who would know more about the infinite, eternal ocean than an octopus?  And what could be more deeply calming that being cradled in its arms, surrounded by the water from which life itself arose? As I pet Kali’s soft head I think of Paul the Apostle’s letter to the Philippians about the power of the “peace that passeth understanding”.

And then – SPLASH – we’re hosed. “That was not aggression” says Wilson. “That was playful.”..Kali fluffs up the suckers on her arms like the frills on a petticoat and waves her arms at us.  If she were a person, we could reach no other conclusion than that she is teasing us, daring us to try again.’

Sy Montgomery. The Soul of an Octopus. Simon & Schuster. 2015


I can sip beauty,
I can take it up
by osmosis
until it becomes
the lining of my soul,
jewels in the dark.

The peony is lush,
a ball of velvet,
carmine petals
folded together
like pleats
of a heart.

27th August 2022

Ruislip Golf Course near here has been taken over by HS2 for the last few years and is a wonderful place to walk the dogs.  They are investigating the archaeology and I found some flints when they filled in one of the trenches a couple of years ago.  I had a chance to show them to the archaeologist recently and they are Mesolithic, 10,000 years old, from when our ancestors returned to Britain after the ice age. 

It is very special to walk down the medieval lane that leads to the golf course and then know you are walking in the footsteps of people who used this area so long ago.  They would have been dependent on the land and the weather, whereas for me it is a place of beauty and all I gather are blackberries or sloes.  We have so much now that would not even have been a dream back then, but still I would love to experience the relationship, belonging and awe they must have felt when they walked here.

Breathing the green

I have been surrounded by concrete for too long, trapped in a town with no gardens, no green.  I am making my escape through the low stone cottages and out onto the hills nibbled close by rabbits and sheep.  I can feel the grass under my feet cushioning the rock, the thin soil.  It bounces with me, scraggy and ill-kempt, browning at the edges but to me it is life.  I breathe it in, careless green vistas, but it is not enough.  I sit and let the breeze that blows the few tattered stalks that lift above the green blow in me.  We are both thin and brown and bare.  Breathing; breezing.  There are a few small thistles and everywhere is carpeted with droppings.  I lie down carefully and absorb the blue sky.  The white delight of cloud like a message overhead fades back into the blue as I gaze.  I want the sky to soak my front and the earth to soak my back but I still feel brick bound and tight.  Breathing; lying; skying.

How can I download more of the field into my fancy, of nature into the parched reaches of soul?  Walk the way, noticing, naturing.  There is an old boundary that crosses the field, a ridge of history that now has no fence just occasional stunted trees.  They are hawthorn, small but tight with leaf, thorn and berry.  The trunk is an artist’s dream, split into caves and crevasses, turning and twisting in a slow dance.

Nearby there are rabbit warrens, a dozen entrances burrowed into the earth.  When I walk the hill I am not just standing on rock and soil, I am standing on a honey comb of homes.  Are they in there, furry in the dark?  Do they know I’m here, vibrating their ceiling with my step? My need for nature is like a thirst, as essential to life as water and sunshine.  I have breathed in green.  I can go back to buildings.