Embrace your inner snail and see the beauty in small and slow solutions

‘Make it short & snappy’

As the seasons change, the trees know it is time to transform their leaves into patches of vivid scarlet, russet and ochre and eventually to let it all go, it is a good point to reflect. Using the currently heavily present snail as an emblem to embrace the use of slow and small solutions, I invite you to slow down and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

‘Just the facts please’

  • The Sustainability Centre
  • Website: http://www.sustainability-centre.org/
  • Address: East Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 1HR
  • Phone:
  • Facilities: accommodation, education, walks, natural burial grounds, cafe.

‘I’ve got a cup of tea, tell me all about it…’

I was fortunate enough to spend some time in nature recently at the Sustainability Centre in Sussex. There amongst the 55 acres of woodland and chalk downs, I was introduced to the world of permaculture and its ethics of earth care, people care and fairtrade.

One of the twelve principles is to “use slow and small solutions” with a symbol of a snail.Principle 9: Use small & slow solutions

I came upon a “walk” of snails (as I’ve discovered one of the collective nouns for snails available) aptly on a walk home and was mesmerised by the giant collection: 45 I counted in total in only a metre patch of pavement under a soggy hedge!

It got me thinking about the miracle of nature. How Mother Nature knows when each aspect needs to take place in the cycle of life. Soon enough our kitchen walls will be decorated with a strangely September-specific visitor: the daddy long legs. School has started, new pencil cases have been packed with shiny new pens and sharpened pencils. The ever too short British summer seems to have passed with memories of spontaneous ice cream buying missions and languid balmy evenings dipping strawberries into a tub of crème fraiche on a sunny patch of much sought after London park greenery. Hopefully the sun will grace us with a surprise day or two of warmth, but in the meanwhile it’s a great time to be absorbed in the fascinating world of nature and how by looking a bit closer we city dwellers can feel a bit more connected to the giant web that is woven around all of us.

To continue that I created a challenge to myself and created a Bank Holiday Monday safari to the supermarket spotting snails doing their thing and reminding me to be gentle on myself and embrace the power of “slow and small solutions” and how it’s helpful to sometimes take a step back and reflect in this busy world of ours. Here are some photos. How about having a go by creating a scavenger hunt for yourself to spot a particular something and look at a usual commute or path is a new way and see what you discover by looking at the slow and small.

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