Sunday, 3 February 2013

A Simple Symbol

Some structures have a beautiful simplicity to them, an arrangement of poles harvested from the surroundings and fabric stretched across them is almost as simple as it can get. I came across this tipi a while ago while taking my first walk through Hill Holt Wood, I finally managed to get around to sketching it last week. A traditional gypsy traveller who has a camp a mile or two away from my hovel also makes good use of a very similar structure when he has friends staying with him.

The prospect of a safe shelter from the wind and rain together with the provision for a warming fire to sit around seems a primitive way to be, but equally it holds a wonderful allure together with an ancient whispered reminder of the nomadic life. To travel, to walk the paths and read the land. To understand the seasons together with the flow of sunlight, wind and water.

While it is obvious the millions who cram into the isles cannot all live in the humble tipi, perhaps it can be a symbol showing we should live lighter, travel slowly and experience a little more. Perhaps the paths to the homes of our friends have become a little overgrown while the way to the office is paved and clear. Some of the finest evenings I have ever spent have been with good company while sharing a bottle by the fireside.

I think it is time I sought many more of these evenings and took a few more walks to give the fireside tale a depth earned only through long miles.


  1. ...bravo! ~ dear bard`ic brother! ~ may thee find refuge ~ amongst many a kindred ~ snug warm hearty fires ~ and rich exciting tales to tell ~ long into the weeeeeeeEeh of even-song ~ and finally to drift with the dream angels until a new found dawn! ~ blessed be! ~ dear kindred!...(o:

  2. Tipis are simply genius. They can withstand the worst of weather - I can testify that they can hold at bay ferocious rains storms, wind just flows around their sleek shape. We have a tipi (actually a scandanvian Lavu - single pole). We have camped in the snows and roasted in it before a blazing firebox, snug as anything! We have now progressed to a little stove which makes for easier cooking and heat control. You just can't beat it. Even if we come in from a walk soaking wet, half an hour later we (and our clothes) are bone dry! :)