I remember the first time I ever walked through a really high and wild flower meadow. It was back in Wales in my early twenties, out for a walk with friends and we just happened upon it. It was captivating. The grasses were up to our waist and there were SO many butterflies. No one with me seemed particularly interested in it though and just marched on through, so it was a very short visit, but the magic of it etched itself on my memory.
When I first met Dean, five and a half years ago, it was deep winter but we found ourselves talking about meadows. Obviously, he knew I found them inspiring as he was well aware of my work, but his interest in them, delighted me. Perhaps this was someone who would linger in the meadow with me?
He told me about Eades Meadow, which is near his old house in Redditch and how he loved to cycle out there at weekends and marvel at everything he saw. We made plans to visit that summer.
Eades Meadow is an ancient wild flower meadow, protected by the Worcestershire wildlife trust and it hasn't seen any pesticides for a hundred years!
It's famous for it's green winged orchids (I don't think this is one) and it's autumn saffron. We saw three different kinds of orchids.
On our first solstice together we got up before dawn (that's WELL early on the longest day of the year) and cycled out of the town, on empty roads under a big full moon singing songs (by the light of the silvery moon) to see the sunrise in the meadow.
We stood under one of it's huge old oak trees while the first rays lit up our happy faces. It was magic and very romantic.
And we lingered! And we looked at every blade of grass. AND he didn't get bored when I needed to take a zillion photos. He was taking a zillion photos too!
Fast forward to 2021 and whilst visiting Deans folks for the first time in a long time we made a solstice trip back to visit the meadow.
It was so lovely to see it again and before long I was enjoying the shapes and the textures with my camera.
One of my favourite plants in the meadow is the quaking grass. It's so delicate with it's little quivering stems and when the wind blows it shimmers.
There is so much of it and it seems to join all the other grasses and flowers together like cobwebs.
Dean told me he used to come to this place years ago and dream about finding someone who would love it as much as he did. Someone who would see the same magic. How funny that he found ME. The ultimate meadow nerd!
AND THEN, much to my surprise, he got down on one knee and proposed to me with a ring made of quaking grass!
And all joy erupted! Of course I said YES YES YES and we jumped up and down and laughed and laughed and then cried because it was ridiculously cute and because the ring was so beautifully precious. What an absolute treasure he is. I'm so glad that we found each other.
So, now this meadow is even more magic to us.
Who knew it could even get any better!?
We went back home to share our news with the family.
I kept my ring on for as long as possible, but washing my hands was kinda tricky! We're going to have a special ring with a quaking grass design, made out of something a little more hard wearing!
Here's the beauty!
The next day we took Deans Mum and sister to visit the magic meadow.
Deans sister took some photo's of us. In our happy place. Side by side. Two meadow nerds together. x
Oh, this post make me feel so happy for you both, Hannah and Dean. J and I know only too well how wonderful it is to find one’s soulmate and its wonderful that you find such a special connection in each other.
I’m sure your ring will be as beautiful as your handmade quaking grass ring. XXRebecca
HUGE congratulations to you both. What a fabulous way to get engaged! Please feel welcome to visit the Scottish meadows one day on the Isle of Raasay and be sure to visit us. I love your posts. All the best. JoJo
What a beautiful story and beautiful pictures too – I’m very happy for you!
First the mention of the quaking grass and then the ring immediately made me think of: https://www.onlythroughshadows.com/shop/botanic
Wishing you many more wild and beautiful solstices together xEstee