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Celebrating 2 years at Springwood - by Catherine Smith (the original Herd Auntie!)

On May 29th 2017 I came to Springwood to take part in a Mindfulness with Animals workshop, at the end of the session I completed a questionnaire, and ticked YES to "would you like to volunteer here". Luckily for me, Jacqui and David accepted my offer of help. At the time I remember saying that I thought I could learn a lot from them, and boy did I learn. Two years later I have experienced and learnt so much from everyone at Springwood, it has been a truly enriching and rewarding experience. I am so sad that Springwood has to move, but I know that the story is not over, we have just turned a page to a new chapter. In celebration of my (almost) 2 year anniversary at Springwood, I would like to share the following written piece, I think it sums up nicely my experience so far. "I have seen buzzards circling silhouetted against the bright blue sky, a fox slink past me in the woods, butterflies, bees and dragonflies. Pheasants, swallows, robins, wagtails, a fleeting glimpse of an owl. I have seen the beginning of a bright beautiful Spring day, been shrouded in fading light and felt the chill air of an Autumn evening, seen the earth scorched and burnt by fierce sun, stumbled and slid across frozen fields. I have watched wild deer grazing in the field, and a bird who sought shelter in my shadow from the blazing sun. I have walked in the wild woods, listened to the waterfall, watched as snow fell on the lake, drank tea beside the woodburner in the Yurt, cast aspirations into the fire pit. I have watched the land bloom under the care of all at Springwood. I have watched the herd let go of past traumas and avail themselves of the peace and freedom offered here. I have shared peaceful energy with them, had my heartspace burst wide open (thank you Missy), I am learning to let go of my ego, to truly listen to the herd, to honour their requests, to follow my intuition and to just be. I have scooped more poop than I could have ever imagined possible, I have pulled ragwort, cleared rubbish from the land, helped extend grazing boundaries, acted as human scratching post for the herd, cradled Donkeys heads when they needed it, helped paint stables, found a home for all the dandelion leaves in my garden – the piggies love them! I love every moment I spend here." Catherine aka Herd Auntie

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