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A windy solstice wander.

The woodland seemed a little lively, so I took myself for my favourite village walk at Minstead.

I started my walk by sitting with Arthur Conan Doyle for a while at his resting place in Minstead Churchyard.

He has a wonderful eternal resting place looking over the fields to the trees beyond under the embrace of an old oak tree. This is one of my favourite places to come and sit and contemplate life on the welcoming bench under the tree and today the swirling wind and dark skies made it much more atmospheric and quiet of people. As I sat and soaked up my surrounding I was entertained by the dramatic starling murmeration over the paddocks. What a joy!

Before heading on with my walk I always have to put my head around the door of this church. It has such a beautiful energy about it. It always feels full of love and well nurtured with its flora displays. This church is full of ancient etchings and has obviously been loved and protected for centuries.

Heading onto the footpath the sun was trying to break through the cloudy sky as I was accompanied by creeking boughs and rustling ivy in the gusty breeze. I stood and watched in awe for a moment at the kestrel hovering in stillness against the elements before he dropped out of sight for a chance of a meal.

The wild hedges of the Minstead lanes have recently been tamed tidy by flailing, but these dense hedges tuck away berries and catkins from the blades. Its delightful to watch the birds busy themselves in the abundance of these hedges.

Minstead gets its name from 'mint place' because of the varieties of wild mint that once grew here. But I feel it should be renamed 'Oakstead' due to the amount of impressive oaks that dominate these lanes.

I followed the road past the Adam and Eve oaks. With Adam standing within the hedge, you don't get an appreciation for his size.

This quaint village is a patchwork of small holdings, hedges and oak trees and is a space frozen in time.

Donkeys forage the verges and foxes trot the fields. As I was losing myself in wild winds and bygone times, I could hear the joy and play of children coming from Furzley Gardens and this was accompanied by the beautiful scent of pine drifting from the tended Estate. Glimpses of ponds and fairy houses could be caught through the freshly cut hedges and the sounds of wild imaginations of children warmed the heart.

Cared for cottages and rural lanes were lit with lights and wreaths, as I lost my mind to the reflection of the past year and allowed the wind blow away any thoughts I no longer needed to concern myself with.

Then a quiver of joy and optimism ran through my body as I took this time to concern myself with just me and think of the plans and intentions set for the coming year. I ended my walk with messy hair, an optimistic mind and a well fed soul.

Solstice blessings my friends.

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