New Year Dove Release 2017

Happy New Year!

As 2017 dawns, it brings with it that lovely ‘fresh start’ feel. It’s like slipping into clean sheets or those times when you got a pristine new exercise book at school. Ah! The promise, the potential!

But it also brings with it the inevitable slew of self-inflicted misery: the strict detox diets, ‘dry January’ and the repeated mantra screamed from magazine covers and advertising hoardings ‘New Year New You!’ as if the old you has been weighed, measured and found wanting. Yes, January can be a stick we love to beat ourselves with.

Which is why yesterday’s dove release felt like such a positive event to be a part of. It was 1000 miles away from messages about who and what we ought to be and embraced that new exercise book feeling instead.

I teamed up with Viv Lambert from Lambert’s White Dove Release to hold a New Year dove release on the South Downs at Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton. It was a beautiful, crisp (read ‘blooming freezing!’), blue sky bank holiday and there were lots of people out enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Sammie Venn brought her campervan along and, ably assisted by her gorgeously enthusiastic young daughter, was serving hot soup and mulled wine to warm everyone up, as well as intentions bracelets to remind people of their experience. Sammie and Clare Goldfinch had designed an ‘intention tree’ and we were asking people to take a few moments to think about their hopes, dreams and positive intentions for 2017 and write or draw something to represent them on the tree before they released their dove.

Once people taking part had thought about what they wanted to happen in the year to come and they were waiting to be given a dove, I asked them to take some time to visualise their dreams coming true: to see what they will see and feel what they will feel and to generally get their positivity juices flowing and start to feel excited about the possibilities for the coming months.

Viv carefully handed each person a dove and I said a few words before the doves took wing, taking people’s dreams with them as they flew:

“May the energy of your powerful and positive intentions inspire you, encourage you, empower you and spur you each day to joyful action. With each wingbeat of your dove, let your heart soar and your dreams for 2017 take flight.”

The releases were photographed by Kate Henwood, and with the releases, the photos and the refreshments, over £100 was raised for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity.

Here’s the last basket of doves being released in one go at the end of the day. Watch them go – aren’t they just beautiful?