I sat outside for a while this morning, watching as trees slowly appeared from the lifting autumn-morning mist. This morning’s sky was steel-grey, breaking into streaks of red and pink as the sun caught the underside of the clouds. It was still, quiet and achingly beautiful.
A beginning of this sort happens many days of the year, yet many of us consistently miss any kind of genuine contact with the natural world of which we’re all inescapably part. We rush from home to office, travelling in sealed cars or trains, and spend our days in the glow of electric lighting and computer screens.
We wear our busyness and exhaustion as badges of pride and status, our inability to stop fully a sign of our importance or our earnestness. And in doing so we miss so much, not least an opportunity to return to a deep felt sense of our humanity and our place in the world that gave us life and which supports us.
What do you think we become, individually and collectively, through our living this way?
If you’d like to follow this topic further:
George Monbiot has written compellingly in the Guardian today about what happens when school children are given the chance to learn by being in the natural world, and what is lost when we lock them into an endless cycle of classroom study.
And Esther Sternberg, a leading neuro-immunologist, talks in this wonderful podcast about the science of healing places.