A Diary. How Nature Mends Us.
Michael O’Mara Books. Hardback £14.99
It’s entirely appropriate for a review of Emma Mitchell’s diary The Wild Remedy to appear here on Valentine’s Day. For Emma’s beautiful new book is a love letter to nature.
In almost 200 pages, Emma walks with us through woodland and the quiet country lanes of her Cambridge home. Through her eyes, we see wild flowers, birds and wildlife, bees and insects. It’s an inspiring and joyful journey. Her commentary is like taking a walk with a friend. She’s talking about how she feels and I’m nodding agreement at her side. Sometimes I find myself mumbling soft words of comfort and encouragement.
It’s a personal journey, written from the heart. Emma has suffered from depression for the past 25 years. Her response to illness is to walk, taking photographs and drawing what she sees. As I follow her journey, I’m hoping she finds solace in the beauty around her, in being outdoors in fresh air and sunshine. And although she never simplifies the struggles of depression and mental illness, Emma shines a light on her own discoveries, detailing how her encounters with nature significantly influence her mental well-being. Emma touches on new research into natural remedies, how nature affects our neurochemistry, for example.
Fortunately, I’ve never suffered from depression. But I’ve watched friends and relatives suffer, and felt lost and helpless to know what to do for the best. Alongside the medical treatments available, we are all realising that maybe nature has more to offer. Reconnecting with nature might be the salve we need as life becomes more pressured and stressful.
It can only be a good thing to take time to stop, look about us, and appreciate the beauty of simple things; watching the birds, finding a feather, turning over a smooth stone in our hands. Simple things. Powerful as any medicine, maybe.
The publishers have kindly offered one book free for a prize draw. Please comment below to be included. There’s no cash alternative and the publisher’s decision is final. The publishers will randomly pull a name out of a hat and will send the book direct from their offices.
Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share this review on any social media platform. The pictures above are my camera phone photos from Emma’s book.
The Wild Remedy contains 100 hand-drawn illustrations and 35 colour photographs.
I wrote about Emma’s book, Making Winter here: https://bramblegarden.com/2017/12/16/last-minute-christmas-present-ideas-for-gardeners/
About Emma Mitchell https://silverpebble.net/about-me
About Michael O’Mara Books https://www.mombooks.com/