School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: April 2009
Mistaken for a Mother-in-law

by Roland
It is not often that I am mistaken for a woman so I was very surprised when a man in Market Harborough opened his front door and said to me:


“Sorry, I thought you were my mother-in-law.”


I joked that I would be happy to play the role for a few minutes in exchange for a cup of tea.

In fact I was pleased to have a chance to talk to the man as it gave me a chance to apologise for parking my car outside his house for 10 days.

“It’s been no problem.” the man said, “But I was wondering how long I should leave it before I called the police.  We thought maybe the car had been dumped.”


I gave the man a brief account of my walk that had begun from just outside his door 10 days before outlining my route crossing Leicestershire, in and out of Rutland, part of Nottinghamshire, back very briefly into Leicestershire again and finally across Derbyshire and to Huddersfield in South Yorkshire.


“That will give me a good story to tell the mother-in-law when she arrives,” he replied.  “And I know how far Huddersfield is – my father lives there!”


On the second day of the walk I had, for several hours, heard the sound of a huntsman horn always somewhere not too distance. I had hoped I would avoid the hunt itself.  But it was not to be.  The sound of the horn came again.  This time it was much closer.  Then the hounds appeared out of a wood, some leaping over the barbed wire fence, other crawling under and then they streamed passed me, closely followed by The Master of the Hunt, mounted on his horse, and dressed in his traditional red frock coat, ruddy cheeks and horn, accompanied by a tall fine straight-backed lady dressed in a powder blue coat and top hat with all the ethereal qualities of a Tolkien Elfin Queen. 


Many years ago I would have shouted some kind of abuse in protest.  But what struck me now as I stood at the side of the track waving a polite greeting, was that this rather impressive sight I was witnessing was the vestige of a hunting tradition in Northern Europe that stretched back thousands of years - a tradition that had been born out of the necessity to find food to eat during the harsh times at the end of the last ice age.  Our ancestors used to walk vast distances following migrating herds of animals on routes that took them on an epic annual journey that led from across what is now the North Sea and over to mainland Europe and then back again.  I stood at the side of the lane as the rest of the hunt passed by.  When the final elements of the hunt appeared on motorised buggies I felt the notions of the nobility of the modern hunt slipping away but the thought of those epic migratory journeys of those Neolithic ancestors stayed with me.


Two days later, somewhere in the south of Nottinghamshire, I lay my tired body down on a hillside facing back over the land I had been walking.  As I mentally traced my route over the view in front of me I felt a surge of energy filling my body from the earth below me and for a while I felt my body expanding outwards until I felt as if the landscape and myself were one.  Was this, I wondered, the way that those ancestors experienced their connection with the earth – that they were an integral part of it and the landscape an integral part of them?


It has been suggested that our modern day destructive habits as a species arise because our daily life experience removes us from a connection with the land and hence removes our connection with spirit and that it is only by rebuilding that connection that we will learn the means to survive.  Susannah and Ya’Acov have recently completed a facilitator training with Bernadette Ryder to lead the one day symposium created by the Pachamama Alliance called Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream.  Ya’Acov and Susannah have written  about this in their articles “The Greatest Challenge” and I am extremely pleased that this work is going to become a new offering that they will be making to the world.  Ya’Acov is planning to weave this work into the residential workshop For All Our Relations  which will take place in the Waldhaus in Switzerland 11th – 17th May.  We still have places available on this workshop and is strongly recommended to those of you who love the ceremonial side of this work.  Contact me on 01803 762255 or email for more details or to book.


I am also pleased to say that we are now becoming clearer about how we might be going to use some of the money that will be raised by the Movement Medicine Sponsorship Fund.  We have a hope that we might be able to send someone to Palestine to teach ecstatic movement work and other skills sometime within the next year.  Our planning is at an early stage and we will give you more details when we have them.


We have two workshops taking place over the Easter weekend.  Susannah will be teaching Return of the Light in London. This workshop takes the Easter themes of death and re-birth and turns them into an elemental dancing journey to let go of the old and dream in the new. Contact Alex on + 44 7868842219 for more information.


Ya’Acov will be teaching Source in Manchester 10 – 12th April.  For the Manchester workshop contact:  Elaine + 44 161 881 2644 for more details.


There are also places on Ya’Acov’s residential workshop for men “Wild at Heart  29th April to May 3rd which will take place at Orval in Belgium. Contact me on 01803 762255 or email for more details or to book.


Finally, Susannah will be offering her joyous movment and voice DanSing workshop in Cork on 2nd – 3rd May.  Contact Caroline on +353 86 053 1672 or for more details or to book.


Wishing you the wealth and joy of spring










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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.