By Lucy Townsend
Three months ago we put a call out for submissions to our 60th anniversary creative writing anthology, ‘Awakenings’. At the time we were just emerging from the depths of a long hard winter – arguably the longest and hardest of winters for many years. And while we knew all along that nature has the power to lift the spirits, the volume and variety of works we received, the personal moments and the celebration of Sussex’s wildlife, was joyous.
We had willow fuzz, white anemone and wild chalk down blooms. We had a seal, with its glossy black head and rounded eyes. We had green fronds and fiddleheads, a soft bottomed bee and blackberry pie. And we had the birds - skylarks, wrens, robins, barn owls – all the birds that have accompanied us on our walks and runs throughout lockdown, that have fed from our garden bird tables and lifted off from our windowsills while we have been stuck inside.
So thank you for all of your submissions, we could have filled this anthology many times over. And here it is… ‘Awakenings’ - our perfect 60th birthday present and, we feel, an important marker of this time, and a long-awaited spring.
Lucy Townsend is a writer, journalist and wildlife lover based in Sussex. She has worked for the BBC and Sky, among others, and is currently flexing her writing muscles on a MA in Creative Writing at the University of Brighton.