Catching a dry day, with bright light, is a rarity during these past few weeks. Today was such a day. I’m not walking in Northumberland yet. I haven’t been there for nearly a year, not since we had our first Black Nature in Residence meeting in March 2020 in preparation to start the project. And then Covid-19 hit.
I would love to be out in the Park exploring, but I’m adhering to the lockdown rules and not traveling far from home. I’m also a bit fearful of exploring unknown territory in the North as I would stick out like a sore thumb; a Black woman in red woolly hat. I worry that there will be other people out, see me as a stranger and call the police. I’m not sure if I would be taken seriously if I said I was slow walking in the landscape with notebook and pen and camera for work. But I would be.
I mentioned this residency to a friend recently and they didn’t know that such a job existed. They congratulated me on doing something I loved, but it made me feel the need to it only explore my nature connection but also a need to elevate the position of writer in residence to others to make sure it is seen and recognised.
A lot of work to be done, but I’m in no hurry as I enjoy the slower pace of lockdown to explore what lies just in front of me with each step I take. Mud, leaves, mixing to mulch, a low lying golden sun, frosty aid and wood pigeons cooing in bare grey trees.