‘The Biotime Log’, introduced by Maddy Harland, with illustrations by Jane Bottomley

Permanent Publications, 2018

ISBN: 978-1856233217

Reviewed by Hilary Norton

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I’m sure many of us must do it …. as we are walking through the woods and the sun breaks through clouds, notice the Winter Aconite or the first Snowdrop of the spring and wonder what time they flowered last year. Well, if you had a copy of the Biotime Log and made regular entries, you may well have recorded that little piece of data last year, or the year before and you’ll be able to check.

This is a book into which you can record the things you see on particular days of the year. There are no days named or years but the days of each month with two days to a page. This allows you to record events by first adding the year at the beginning of each of your entries followed by your observation.

Over time you build up a collection of observations that you can refer to and compare year by year, so you can perhaps notice patterns in the events occurring around you and maybe identify unusual phenomena like early flowering, migration patterns, unusual weather.

Keeping a Biotime Log can be done by anyone, anywhere; it doesn’t depend on having a garden or owning land. If you can get out and about, see nature around you, whether urban or rural, it will work for you. Obviously where you live you determines what kinds of events you record, and it may be (for instance) that the heat generated by a city will give different information to that recorded on the coast.

There are some interesting comments at the beginning about our place as humans in the great web of nature and the pencil illustrations on some pages are lovely but don’t detract from the space for your own recordings.

This is for anyone who loves the natural world and wants to connect with rhythms of nature or bring nature into greater focus. This could be part of your devotional practice, tuning your attention into the natural world. Therapeutically, with its day to day focus, it may help to build your relationship with nature that can bring such healing.

You could also record your own cycles, moods, energy levels, sleep, etc and see if there are patterns.

The Biotime Log can help you to develop a greater sense of intimacy with the garden and its plants and the microclimate of your region, increasing awareness of the different species and the habitats every year.

By recording seasonal observations in nature, we can begin to have a deeper understanding of the rhythms or anomalies at work and it serves anyone who loves the natural world and wants to drop down into a slower, more connected, part of themselves as it brings the rhythms of nature into far greater focus.

This little book finishes with a quote from David Abram in “The Spell of the Sensuous”:…along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly and forward unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.

The Biotime Log can help us to develop a better understanding of our place in the vast web of life that we call Nature.

2018-11-24T16:34:56+00:00