Why Salix?

g on w logoWelcome to my occasional blog attached to my shiny new Salix Education Website. “Salix Education, why Salix?” is what I am asked. My ecologist friends understand my business name but most other people do not, including my husband who likes to amuse himself by saying it is “Say Licks”. Fact is, at the same time as relocating from Norfolk to Bedfordshire with an 11 month old in tow I needed a business name quickly to register for a piece of freelance work I had been offered. I wanted a name that was short and nature-based with plenty of options for creating pleasing accompanying visuals (which Takayo Akiyama – www.takayon.com – has done beautifully for me).

So Salix it was. Salix is the genus to which willow trees belong. Our native white willow for example is Salix alba. Like Homo sapiens, but more woody. Being a keen (but very rusty) botanist the word Salix conjures up images of lowland river banks like those immortalised in Constable’s paintings of Suffolk and Essex. It makes me think of freshness and my favourite colour green. It brings to mind sturdiness and strength. It also suggests creativity and beauty when I think of the things you can make from flexible willow whips. But to my husband it creates an image of someone saying “licks” in a speech bubble. But he is not my target client base so all is well.

If I had better knowledge of mythology I’d have known before a relatively recent Google that willows are associated with sadness and mourning. Whoops. My Salix is not. My Salix is to do with getting children out of their classroom to learn outside, about the awe and wonder that can be found in the natural world, about the lessons nature has for us, about supporting teachers to take their lessons outside, about campaigning for fieldwork to be a normal part of school life, about helping the whole spectrum of learners in any given class to learn.

Once upon a time Google, Kleenex, Kodak and Xerox meant nothing to the majority of people but it’s a different story now. Twenty years hence Salix will be synonymous with environmental and outdoor learning CPD. That’s me, dreaming big J

PS. Despite taking the mickey out of my business name my husband has just created me this beautiful green website with not a speech bubble or tongue in sight and for that I am very grateful. Thanks Terry.