Three Wild Christian members share their 30 Days Wild stories.
30 Days Wild in self isolation by A Rocha UK Volunteer speaker and supporter, David Beattie.
I’ve participated in the 30 Days Wild challenge for a number of years and wondered how things would turn out in the middle of this pandemic; some things I noted have been expected, others have been delightful surprises.
I live in a terraced house, with a small garden both front and back. Fortunately we are located on the edge of my local country park, about 500 metres away, and I was able to take my early morning (05:30) walking exercise here. I have filled bird feeders, put out hedgehog food, involved myself in a garden bioblitz with my local natural history society and answered some queries to help identify different birds and butterflies.
Making small moth traps throughout the lockdown period has helped my mental wellbeing. Mid-June, I was rewarded with a Garden Tiger moth in my moth trap. Two days later I was taking my laundry from my washing line and noticed a tiny red spot on the grass. Looking carefully, then dashing inside for my magnifying glass I noted Sir Percy Blakeney. He was known as the Scarlet Pimpernel. This is my first sighting of a Scarlet Pimpernel in my garden in more than 40 years living here. A great 30 days and a reminder that the “Wild” is not very far from us all.
30 Days Wild with Putnoe Heights Church – by Shelly Dennison. Shelly is the registered Eco Church contact for Putnoe Heights and offers a wonderful mid-week Eco reflection: https://www.putnoechurch.org.uk/eco
Our church has an Instagram account which we’re using to share our Eco Church journey. 30 Days Wild seemed to be a great fit so I found myself pledging a post-a-day during June. Keeping that pledge turned out to be less work than I had feared and using a mixture of challenges from the app and things I noticed in the garden or on local walks meant that I never ran out of ideas.
It’s difficult to pick a highlight but I had fun following a bee on its journey round the garden, was soothed by the challenge of finding different shades and textures of green, and encouraged by the response to a post about watering young urban trees during hot weather.
30 Days Wild has been a great way of sharing the joy and wonder of God’s creation with a wider audience. I’ve been inspired to continue to use our Instagram feed to share more of these kinds of posts throughout the year – after all joy isn’t just for June!
Our Micro (Macro) Wilderness – by James Hargreave. James lives with his wife and 3 children in Tewkesbury and is a trustee of the local nature reserve. You can follow James on Instagram @creationimagesuk
We started our wilderness journey well before #30dayswild and I’ve been a supporter of A Rocha since the early 90s when I spent time birding and doing research at Cruzinha in Portugal. One of my most inspirational moments as a Christian was taking communion with John Stott on an early morning salt marsh bird watching trip.
What has #30dayswild been about for us? We are ‘Shielding’ from COVID-19, so our home and 15x10m garden has been our space for the last 3 months. Despite our confinement it has been about sharing. Over the 30 days we have been observing and photographically recording God’s creation in our back garden. We have been learning how small things count and make a difference and raising awareness through social media of the part everyone can play in creation care.
Our most enjoyable moments have been upcycling projects, including the new church office pallet-desk, but also a barrow wildlife pond and a teapot nest box. We have grown vegetables, prayed for fewer slugs and snails, camped out under the stars, toasted marshmallow and even persuaded our 14 year old to strum a few worship songs on his guitar. This small space has enabled us to get through huge mental challenges together, build our family, share with others and in the absence of a physical Church building, spend time with God. You can be sure we will continue playing our part in caring for and sharing in God’s creation.
The 30 Days Wild resources and ideas remain available here to help you connect to creation all year round.