Diane Gardiner – Volunteer

I caught long COVID at a very early stage when not a lot was known about it. Until then I had lived a reasonably healthy life and never been seriously ill. As I recovered I realised that I could no longer work as a prison chaplain. I no longer had the strength. I volunteered to help at The Pear Tree centre and kind of fell into volunteering at Kinda Forest School through the Elders’ Tribe. Sometimes life is like that and things happen, we respond and have taken a turn in the road. Before you know it, we have a new experience. I loved it. Most of all it reminded me of my own childhood when we used to be able to “play out” all day. Mud pies was a favourite and life was less sanitised. It was also more brutal. It seems to me that Forest school takes the best of those times (in the 50s) and lets us breathe with the forest and experience the wonder around us as it should be in a modern, and relatively safe way. A kinder way. It helps to keep us young and fresh and experience the wild, wild wood in our imagination as if for the first time – every day a new beginning. Open our eyes and see or perhaps use whatever senses we have and experience.