I’ve been reading ‘Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need The Wild’ by Lucy Jones. It’s an exploration of how and why we need to connect with nature to maintain our physical and mental health. I don’t think I’ve ever doubted this, but its interesting to read about previous and recent research that is proving that we need to be out of doors, and in touch with the natural environment, to stay healthy.
There’s one particularly fascinating chapter called ‘Equigenesis’ which is a discussion of whether improving our connection with nature can reduce socio-economic inequalities. Lucy Jones argues that alongside the ecological destruction of Planet Earth that we are all participating in “there is a deep inequality in access and connection. And this is a stain on our society”. She backs this up by citing research from Professor Mitchell at Glasgow University who suggests that greener neighbourhoods may “reduce the health gap between rich and poor and lead to a better, more equal society”.
All very inspiring and thought provoking – and with that in mind, I wondered why I’ve been reluctant to get out this week when it’s really so easy for me – even in these extreme times. I’ve been busy with work and of course, all of that is online or on the phone at the moment. I said last time that the focus and anxiety this causes is exhausting – and I’m not alone – so I’ve been looking for ways to relieve this a bit, to gain some energy and enthusiasm. Coincidentally, or maybe not given the numbers of people suffering in this way, this article appeared on the BBC website.
So…I introduced a plan to take a short break before and after every Zoom meeting or online chat. It does work – I might just make a cup of tea, put the washing out or walk around the garden for a few minutes – but it definitely helps. Of course I don’t get as much done….but then I’m not being very effective when I’m so tired anyway.
Anyway – get outside is what I’m saying! If you can of course, or look out the window, or listen to the birds singing – whatever you can do.
I was awake early this morning and took a walk up the hill towards the village. It was a damp, misty morning and I didn’t really expect to see much. However, just a few yards up the road sitting on a neighbour’s wall was a thrush pleased as punch with himself for catching a worm.
We used to have a couple of thrushes in the garden, but sadly one flew into the studio window one sunny day and died, the other one disappeared after that.
My neighbour tells me that thrushes have a hundred different songs and that they sing each one 3 or 4 times before moving on to the next. This one wasn’t singing as it was full of worm! Have a listen next time you see or hear one.
The White Dead-nettles are in flower – loved by pollinating insects especially the bumble bees. Apparently if you suck on the flower you get a drop of delicious nectar – get there early before the bees though! These are not the stinging variety – and you can eat the young leaves and stems before they flower, raw or steamed or in soup.
A single clump of red campion has appeared on the roadside. According to my medieval flower book this herb was often found in medieval gardens and appears in the borders of 15th century manuscripts.
I saw lots of hares but none of them wanted their picture taken today so I had to be content with views of the misty hills over the field of rapeseed.
Just a little stroll – enough time for everyone else to get up and for Ms RR to produce some delicious sour-dough pancakes for breakfast!