Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Little Bits of Natural Love

Also named:
Little things of nature that make me happy:
  • birch leaves falling, twisting in the air
  • Thuidium tamariscinum
  • hard fern Blechnum spicant
  • my walking boots keeping my feet dry
  • falling and bouncing on vegetation
  • Equisetum species
  • an identification book that opens up the world
  • imagining animal presence
  • the song of the aspen
  • rain (kissing in)
  • mist (seeking solitude)
  • snow (dancing, spinning, laughing, crying)
  • spots of sunshine on changing vegetation
  • water, falling
  • the dart of the brown trout
  • chickweed-wintergreen Trientalis europaea
  • frogs - especially the yellow ones. Yellow mellow frogs
the tiredness of a day out in the hills that seeps into your body and through your soul
sleep? cries your limbs and your heart and your mind
sleep, sighs your eyes and your love and your care

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Places of rest

I compiled a list of animal homes and their names on the bus the other day:

                                                                                     Fox's earth
     Badger sett
                                                              Otter holt
           Rabbit warren
                                                                                       Water vole burrow
   Wild cat den
                                                          Squirrel drey
                                                                     Hare's form
     Beaver's lodge
                                                                                          Bird's nest
                  Eagle's eyrie

And then you think of the smells associated with each one:

                                                                                    Musty, foxy, deep, earthy and safe
      Dry, slightly dusty, ponderances
                                                              Damp, sweet, individualism and art
           Complications, earth and dedication
                                                                                       Wet, hidden and reliance on water and fear
   Pride, grooming and secrecy
                                                       Air, height, agility and skill
                                                                     Grass, compressed, and the heat of a warm body
      Water, with a touch of warm wood. Growth
                                                                                          Twigs, feathers and unparalleled beauty
             Meat, strength, it smells of the king of the skies

Can you tell that I haven't actually encountered many of these?

What would human habitation smell like to most of these?

                                                                                      Waste and therefore opportunity
      Soon it'll mean fear
                                                                                         Fear, and possibly hope
                                                         Curiosity, mingled with fear

Aren't we predictable. How wonderful that the animals know us so well. Is this arrogance - we have the interest of destruction and therefore we're the most powerful and deserve to be feared... No, it's truth for we have forever sought dominance over others, and will continue to do so until the end of time. Fear is an insult. We need to understand that we're not the best, not the ultimate species, but are rather just present in the same world as a myriad of other beautiful, clever, fabulous beasts and we should not diminish them and try to control them for our own whims.

Perhaps the sadness that preceeds us is due to finding that this dominance leaves us wanting. We abhor destruction in our deepest souls, but for some reason with us it has become equal to power. We must transform the thought and return to our original values. To create is power. To destroy is a habit of low self-confidence and has been drilled into us over many years. Let's return to the thoughts of our ancestors and destroy only where absolutely necessary, to create with little encouragement and to respect the other beings on this earth as we pretend to respect other human beings. If every one of us makes a small effort we can change the world. Take the encouragement from people that have given up and find the drive to push towards a better place. They've given their dreams to ensure that you follow yours. Some one said that to me recently, and that's true. We have to make sure to hold onto our dreams of a better world and not let one person's destruction sway us off our true path.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Little thoughts of the past and the future

It was the 500th anniversary of the battle of Flodden yesterday. Half a millenium ago, on the 9th of September 1513, up to 8000 Scots and an unknown number of English were killed in a matter of hours. It was a bloodbath, I'm sure no one would doubt that, and it's one that is strangely forgotten in our history.

The only thing I knew about Flodden was the song that Chris from Sunset Song sings at her wedding - Floo'ers o' the Forest - which is beautifully heartwrenching, but never in all the years of Scottish history did we study the actual battle.

And now, 500 years on it was commemorated with little more than a lone piper playing on the hill. And just the thought of that brings tears to my eye (I'm a little teary tonight - just been told a very sad story). It's the thought that 500 years ago men were dying in a bloody battle, but who would ever have thought that we today would remember them.

It makes me think of us today and not just the little individual versions of us, but the whole of us - the entire world, and each of our nations, and it makes you realise that it is a very realistic probability that our actions will be remembered and mulled over as those from the past are today. It makes an interesting thought, that we are not only doing our best day to day for ourselves, but we're also facing the future generations who will hold us responsible for all that goes on today.

I've heard them lilting at our ewe-milking,
Lassies a-lilting before dawn o' day,
Now they are moaning on ilka green loaning,
The floo'ers o' the forest are a' wede away.
At bughts, in the mornin, nae blythe lads are scorning,
Lassies are lonely, and dowie, and wae,
Nae gaffin', nae gabbin, but sighing and sabbing, 
Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away
At e'en, in the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming, 
'Bout stacks wi' the lassies at bogle to play;
But ilk ane sits eerie, lamenting her dearie
The floo'ers o the forest are a' wede away
We'll hear nae mair lilting at the ewe-millking;
Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning
The floo'ers o' the forest are a' wede away.   

These days there is such uncertainty. The world's gone amok, but we must always remember that nothing is hopeless and that life will prevail in one form or another. Who knows whether there will be such settlements and such a way of the world in 500 years time, but we have to act as if we will still exist and that these ghosts of the future are watching our every move. And maybe with those guardians to look out for we will try harder to save the world that we have left.