At the time of writing the sky is grey and it looks like rain. The wind is also blowing hard. Our land is devastated in many places. The floods will have killed small animals especially those insect larvae which live in rivers and streams. There is no food for others and no nesting places. I used to have around 20 starlings visit my bird food hangers but now there has only been one lone starling after days of no birds at all. Where have they gone? Are they finding food elsewhere? The local stream has been extremely high and very muddy in colour and in places the fields are flooded. There is a wildfowl reserve close by and I wonder how high the water is there and how polluted it is.
As a druid I find this whole scenario very distressing and wish that people would learn to understand that we are all part of our landscape and that we cannot control nature but have to work with it. Without the insects, especially the bees, where would we be? We need to understand that we depend on the activities of all the animals on our planet. They are all a part of a wonderful natural chain of existence. But nature is far more powerful than we are. She will fight back as the daffodils in my garden which are struggling in the wind and rain. Let us keep hope alive and work together to save our world.
I feel sad that our land is flooded, not just for those who have lost homes but also for the animals who have no fields to graze. Even here where there is very little flooding, the fields are sodden and there is no grass for the animals to graze. This puts an extra burden on the farmers to provide alternative food.
But what of the areas that are flooded? It is just getting into the news that the flood waters contain bacteria that can cause illness. The ground water is also contaminated and any fields will not be able to be used for grazing or for growing crops for a long time once they have drained. There are so many consequences of these floods and many of these have not yet been seen.
It is a wake up call for us all. How do we live by rivers or the sea and on low land but stay safe? There are many questions to be asked but I suspect the answers will not come for some time as arguments and the blame game continue. However, years of abuse of our land have not helped and we need to look back at what we ourselves have enabled our governments to do in our name. London was flooded in 1928 but it was not until 1953 that things were done to give protection. Is it going to take as long this time to reflect and to act, but act in the right way this time round? Can we learn from history? We can’t tame nature so we have to learn to work with it.
Britain is having a stormy time at the moment. One storm after another reaches our shores. We need to remember that we are an island surrounded by the sea. For many years now, the east coast has been crumbling into the sea. Much of the east coast like the fens and other parts of Britain were once islands and the land was reclaimed and kept as land by the careful use of canals and dykes. When I lived in the Fens I watched the dykes being dredged each year and knew about various flood plans where fields were kept as flood plains when necessary.
Yet our government has allowed houses to be built on flood plains and also near the sea. The Victorians built long rows of hotels by the sea as they thought this was a good idea. Yet when they built the railway at Dawlish it was considered to be a risk all those years ago.
If this pattern of weather which is due to the position of the jet stream, (remember last year’s weather pattern was due to this) is to recur then we need to look at what we need to do. Houses near the sea and farmland are vulnerable and we must find ways to protect them or move them inland. The power of the waves is clear to us all. Let us change our perception of what we need to do, we cannot fight the waves but only work with them. Nature is more powerful than we are! What are your thoughts on all of this?
It is Imbolc, the coming of the spring. This brings new life and hope as nature shows us that things do get better and that there is a cycle of darkness and light. There are bulbs showing their shoots through the soil. They come each year dying down later after they have flowered. I see catkins on the hazel bushes too.
Our world is in chaos, floods, political fall outs, injustices and much more. Even though I myself am in a dark place at the moment, I can see faint stirrings of the light, and hope that things can change. It is time for everyone to wake up and see what needs to be done to make our world better for all. The gap between the rich and the poor needs to be closed as well as inequalities between the sexes. What can I do? What can you do? Let the energy of the spring carry us forward to bring about these changes. Don’t just sit there and think about it, do something. We have to work together to make things happen. Find the path that takes you forward.
Your comments are welcome as usual.