A huge delight to be the latest stop on the wonderful Blog Tour for THE WILD REMEDY by EMMA MITCHELL. My thanks to the author and Alara at Michael O’Mara Books for letting me be part of it all.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Emma Mitchell has suffered with depression – or as she calls it, ‘the grey slug’ – for twenty-five years. In 2003, she moved from the city to the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens and began to take walks in the countryside around her new home, photographing, collecting and drawing as she went. Each walk lifted her mood, proving to be as medicinal as any talking therapy or pharmaceutical.
In Emma’s hand-illustrated diary, she takes us with her as she follows the paths and trails around her cottage and further afield, sharing her nature finds and tracking the lives of local flora and fauna over the course of a year. Reflecting on how these encounters impact her mood, Emma’s moving and candid account of her own struggles is a powerful testament to how reconnecting with nature may offer some answers to today’s mental health epidemic. While charting her own seasonal highs and lows, she also explains the science behind such changes, calling on new research into such areas as forest bathing and the ways in which our bodies and minds respond to plants and wildlife when we venture outdoors.
Written with Emma’s characteristic wit and frankness, and filled with her beautiful drawings, paintings and photography, this is a truly unique book for anyone who has ever felt drawn to nature and wondered about its influence over us.
Published by Michael O’Mara Books
This is one of those books that not only looks good – it’s packed full of beautiful drawings and photos – but it’s also a wonderful reminder of what is around us all if we just take the time to look. You don’t need to travel far to see something, or even just to hear the sound of bird song in your back garden, it all works in a way to help detract our minds from the negative aspects of life and can set us back on a more positive outlook on life no matter what we are going through in our personal lives.
I really connected with this book through the positive aspect that I’ve discovered of gardening and nature while I’ve suffer with the illness M.E. It is a very isolating and lonely illness at times, and there are many days when, like the author with her depression, leaving the house is impossible or a major struggle and just by spending a few minutes out in the garden looking at new things growing, or hearing the birds sing can make such a big impact on your frame of mind for the rest of the day and make those darker days seem just a little bit brighter. Having something different to focus on instead of concentrating on what your brain is telling you is so powerful and often better than any medicine you can take, and I’m truly grateful for all things green everyday now, especially when the world we live in is seemingly becoming more grey and full of concrete.
In this book, the author takes us through her diary month by month to share her honest and frank experiences of how the depression affects her way of life and the way she thinks, and how each month she notices different things around her in nature which she draws, collects, takes photos of – it’s the little things in life that give you hope and clarity and she shows how much the importance of noticing the smallest things can give the biggest amount of joy. I loved the touches of humour too that she puts in – and the importance of Annie, her canine companion, in getting her out of the house when it all feels too much.
I’ve always taken photos of things around me that I see, but this book has inspired me to notice more and also start collecting leaves and flowers to press to keep an even more satisfying record of the world around us to help lift my spirits on the darker days when I’m unable to get out and about and this book is a beautiful reminder of how something as simple as birdsong, or the first signs of Spring can be so rewarding and a real benefit to your mental well-being and I highly recommend it as a must have on any bookshelf