Mellisa Dean's Letter

To my darling son, Vincent,

Our walks in the woods are my favourite memories of you as a child. I smile thinking about the foxes we saw, and your first hedgehog sighting. The little shrew we found, identified and named. Teaching you the names of the birds and spotting bird boxes are all just rolled into a warm ball of love.
You and me, outside.
You and me, amongst the trees.
I dearly hope that you are taking your children and grandchildren to the spaces I took you - holding their hand as they walk across logs, or jump in the ponds to see the tadpoles.
Our shared love of nature - being outside and breathing in the smells of the autumnal woods - is a cherished thought.
My gift to you was time in the woods. Time outside. Time with the animals.
I’m sorry that those with the most power cared not for our little walks on a winter’s day. Cared not for the foxes, owls and shrews that you so loved to search for. Cared not for your need to climb that tree again and again and again.
Know that we were responsible. We tried. We cared, even if they did not.
Keep touching the trees and using their strength and peace.
Follow the foxes. I know you will.

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