During the first lockdown many people remarked that there was more birdsong than ever. Was there really more than ever or could we hear the sounds usually hidden underneath every-day noise?
Perhaps we listened more deeply, had more quiet time to notice the April heatwave and the splendid energy of spring painting the land green. For those of us lucky enough to reach out to nature, we were swept into the hopeful spring growth.
For many years I lived on a narrow boat, weaving outside and inside, chopping wood, fetching water. I would see the moon phases from my cabin window. The sunlight would reflect off the canal and dapple the ceiling of the boat. We had frequent visits from ducks, moor hens, kingfishers, water rats and occasional sightings of otters. Our sink drained into the canal. Whatever we washed and cleaned with would end up swirling into the watery habitats of our ‘other-than-human’ neighbours. I witnessed my waste directly. I saw what I took and what I gave.
Many of the young people I work with suffer with what some call climate anxiety. They feel overwhelmed by the immensity of life, the task of being an adult, the uncertainty of the future and the impending doom of the climate crisis. And they, like Greta Thunberg, are appalled at how little us adults are doing to reduce emissions and actively reach net 0. Hearing these wise young souls talking hard truths like soothsayers I feel lost for words. So I am moved to speak to our wider community.
I ask this caring profession, to pause for a moment and reflect. How reciprocal is your relationship with nature? Do you take or give, or give and take?
Nature always teaches me to shift my frame of reference, to widen the aperture of my spirit. Nature always has a generous invitation, a tendril of connection, a branch reaching out, a plant pushing up through adversity to reach for the light.
This is my invitation for us all to consider which small, but significant, actions we can consciously take to reduce our carbon footprint and show our care for the planet.
Our profession talks a lot about being mindful. This is my call to arms, for you to think deeply about how your choices, your actions and your deeds impact nature.
Suggestions are obvious and probably well-known. Practically shop locally, eliminate single use plastic, use public transport, walk or cycle more, source your energy from a sustainable supplier, grow salad at home in window boxes. Stay connected to your actions.
For as much as a walk in the park can improve our mood we must also use our actions to take care of this generous planet, whilst nature is an enormously precious ‘resource’ for us and our work, Nature is finite. The children are looking up to us, to see how we care for nature in a congruent and authentic way.
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Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.