This week has been a week of hot sunny weather with several storms, some of which have lasted for many hours. Usually storms clear the air but this does not seem to have happened so far and we still have hot, humid weather.
I was thinking how all the elements are involved in a storm; earth, air, fire and water. There have been lightning strikes and flash floods, showing us the power of nature. A walk by the swollen river last week brought the amazing smell of damp woodland and swirling water over the weir. It is such a distinctive smell but difficult to describe.
But I wonder if our planet is giving us a message. Is she trying to show us what can happen if we have no respect for her? I am lucky to have a garden at the front of my house. Some of my neighbours have tarmac or fancy paving stones leaving nowhere for the rain to go then get angry over the large puddles that form. Houses are built on flood plains, rivers and streams are filled with rubbish. Is this the way to treat our planet? People cut down trees because (I quote)’ they don’t like cleaning up the leaves or cleaning out their guttering.’ But how good for soaking up the rain are our trees?
Have we lost our connection with nature? How can we teach or show others how important our gardens and trees are to your future? What can you do?
A visit to see a favourite tree was both sad and joyful. The tree was over 300 years old and was much loved by many. I had not been able to visit for around 10 years and sadly this visit was to find the tree was no longer there. Whether it was felled or fell naturally I will never know but it was a splendid tree. But a short walk into the woodland revealed glades filled with wild flowers and many species of butterflies and insects. I don’t remember seeing so many different species in one place for a long time and these glades were so colourful and often scented.
This week I heard a well known gardener talking about how his garden helped him to overcome depression. How wonderful are the natural things around us, not only beautiful to see but also healing as well! Although I feel sad at the loss of the ancient beech, I also feel joy at seeing the natural life in the woodland. The ancient beech inspired a poem several years ago (see Poetry and Prose my first book) so maybe the wonderful wild flowers may do the same. Take a walk in the woods or along the lanes and see how many different plants you can find. Two photos for you this week
This morning I was lucky to have a trip to the Peak District. It was a beautiful morning and it was good to be outside on the moors. The thistles were looking rather droopy but the foxgloves were doing well, standing straight and enticing the bees. The stream was running slowly but the reflections were amazing. There is something special about sitting on a rock, with feet on the earth and head in the sky, connecting on all levels with our planet. There were many other people around, climbers, cyclists, walkers and others just sitting by the stream. How much did they notice about the landscape around them? Did the climbers notice the crevices and patterns in the rocks, did the walkers see the different grasses and plants? And what did those just sitting by the stream see and be aware of?
When you are out in nature what do you see? There is so much that you can see when you look and you can stop and admire the insects on the plants and the path. What would our lives be like if none of this was there for us?
There is another star in the sky this week. A wonderful loving person has left us for pastures new high above. She was a wonderful mother, sister and friend, not only to her family but to many others. Always ready to listen, to support and to hug, she will be greatly missed by so many. She made such a difference to many lives and her legacy will live on as we all face the challenge of her absence.
The words of Kahlil Gibran in his book ‘The Prophet’ come to mind.
‘For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.’