Meeting The Hawthorn
I met a lovely #hawthorn. It was on the grass next to a carpark surrounded by dandelions. I know many of you are feeling frustrated because you can’t travel out to your favourite places in nature but sometimes in our wanderings we miss the #wonder right on our doorsteps.
A few years ago, my local town decided it was more important to have a slightly bigger supermarket and destroy a lovely old oak tree. Of course, we were promised replacement trees for the old oak and others that were chopped down. Needless to say, there were plenty of brownfield sites where the bigger supermarket could have gone but the #COOP as it was then insisted their building be demolished and rebuilt and the trees chopped down despite a great deal of local opposition to the plan. (Certainly proving the idea of supermarkets being community minded is a myth.) Many of the replacement saplings have died and there wasn’t enough to cover the original trees to start with and the coop then left anyway and of course the local council continues to be as incompetent as ever.
As many of you know old trees provide vital ecosystems and are big carbon captures that simply cannot be replicated by young saplings. This mythical view that old trees are easily replaced and are expedient to the short term needs of the very few is a view echoed up and down the country. #HS2 of course is the ultimate insult in this regard being technologically out of date, wildly over budget and destroying vast acres of irreplaceable habitats.
It is a grim story isn’t it? And you would be entirely forgiven in thinking maybe this will not have a happy ending. But stop and wait …
Have you noticed now the traffic has stopped how much fresher the air smells? Have you heard the birdsong, have you seen more wildlife around? All because of #lockdown. Yesterday I saw a buzzard land in the lime tree just down the road from my house. All this because of the terrible #covid19. The upside is that office workers are all working from home now thus entirely negating the need for HS2 and huge amounts of traffic on the roads.
#MotherNature is currently offering both a stick and a carrot.
#Pollution and ill treatment of animals has caused this latest #virus. (Scientists are saying the virus has mutated into stronger forms due to air pollution and that it originated in animals. see links below).
The message is clear: either treat the earth with respect or die.
The carrot, and it is a large and beautifully juicy one, is of course to look at the miracle that is happening all around us.
Meanwhile in Nara in #Japan man has been living in harmony with the wild deer for very a long time indeed. In #Shinto tradition deer are the sacred messengers of the gods and in ancient times killing a deer was punishable by death. Now they are the symbol of the city and considered national treasures. Here is a video of them…
Then there are the Japanese macaques. The maxim of the three wise monkeys "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” originates in Japan. It appears in a 17th-century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō to illustrate Confucius’s Code of Conduct, and uses the monkey as a way to depict man’s life cycle. Observing Japanese macaques might also teach us how to live in harmony with our natural environment.
Here are some of brothers and sisters ..
Now back to the lovely old hawthorn. There is it on an unassuming patch of grass next to the carpark and the primary school. I stopped to admire the dandelions and daisies and happened to look up. This is what I saw …
The old #tree with the sun held in its branches. I gazed at the dancing patterns of light between the leaves, the fresh green against a clear blue sky, breathed in clean air and listened to little birds hopping around. Then I looked below and there in its' a shadow a dandelion catching the light.
Holding The Light
That old hawthorn stood as old as a man
Telling old stories that no man can
Look to the light, it whispered as I passed by
So, I lifted my head towards the open sky
What did I see as I lifted my head
But sun and tree, bough and sky were wed
And here I stood upon the village green
With not a single cloud to be seen
And as I looked upon that little tree
Can others I wondered, see what I can see?
Its stands upon a carpet green and full of flowers
Gifting its wisdom hour by hour
And there in time so brief and fleet
The old tree and flowers do meet
While revealing that shadows can
Be filled with light by tree and dandelion
Holding the light has never been more important. It is a message written without as well as within. Inside of ourselves if we go deeper and deeper within our cells we find atoms and what are they but space and little points of light? Trees catch the light within their dark branches and dandelions catch the light when in shadows.
There is light in the shadow.
We humans have #shadows, we have very dark ones. Our shadows have grown old and gnarled and have overgrown our sense of #light and right in the world. As I look around I see the evidence of this everywhere and yet the tree and the flower both show that even in shadow there is light.
It is not too late.
Amanda Claire x
PS Yes I know I haven't included the youtube link for the forest bathing mediation its coming I promise! Will update when its ready x
LINKS for you to read about air pollution and its influence on spreading the virus. Please note I am sharing these because it is important to know what the facts are. Knowledge Is Power and the more informed we are the more positive choices we can make. Rather than feel helpless we can each plan to make our own positive life changes including lobbying our MPs and governments.
https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf The one is from the world health organisation it links both pollution and origin from animals.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC138537/ heritable mutations due to air pollution
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-7607-2 Link between air pollution and respiratory disease.