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" The world is mud-luscious

and puddle-wonderful "

e.e.cummings

Nuinn’s Wood

October 14th, 2009

Like most people, I have a list of ‘Things I’d love to do’ that always takes second place to the other lists: ‘Things I must do’  and ‘Things I should do’. After my father died I decided that I really ought to allow myself to do some of those things on that first list. It’s so easy to put them off, year after year. So, driving back from the retreat at Cae Mabon in Wales, through glorious countryside in bright sunshine, I made my way to Hambleden in Oxfordshire to visit ‘Nuinn’s Wood’ – the ten acres of woodland that my old druid teacher Ross Nichols (also known as Nuinn) had bought after the war, and which he used as a place of retreat. He already had a retreat chalet at Spielplatz in Hertfordshire, but that was in a naturist community. There were plenty of trees there, but still there were other people around. So this woodland was his ‘inner’ retreat place. What a luxury! Some people might want to have a second car or home, but Nuinn opted for a second place of retreat! He put up a few wooden huts there, and that was it. No trace of the huts remained but there was such peace in that woodland and in the gentle valleys to either side of it! Great soaring beeches rose from the forest floor and here and there was a yew or hazel…

Nuinn's Wood

Nuinn's Wood

Nuinn's Wood

Nuinn's Wood