Re-discovering our relationship with nature
Being born and raised in rural Suffolk has meant that I have taken the country path rather than the urban route. From nature walks at school, to doing the RSPB's Garden Birdwatch each year with
Being born and raised in rural Suffolk has meant that I have taken the country path rather than the urban route. From nature walks at school, to doing the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch each year with my Grandad, wildlife has been a huge part of my upbringing. Yet when Covid dawned, and brought a new normal for humans; the world came to a standstill, nature regained its dominant position.
Living in front of an apple orchard has not only helped me to perfect a crumble from a young age, it allowed me to understand how nature and humans can live symbiotically. When I turned 16 and was able to help with the harvest, I began to understand the satisfaction of picking perfect fruit.
Enjoying the birdsong and faint hum of insects is the true joy – being able to escape from the stresses and strains of reality, and losing yourself amongst the whispering trees.
The only fortunate fact about lockdown was it being in Spring – this seeped with irony as we stopped at a time when nature was just getting going, and emerging daffodils symbolised the hope of the new year. The absence of planes and constant stream of vehicles meant that the faint tune of the tractor, as it zig-zagged up and down the rows, and the blackbird’s triumphant song could instead be heard.
The walks by the side of the fields that had once provided escapism, instead allowed exploration. Before, the walk meant unconsciously circling the village each day; a necessary activity to prove that I had been outdoors to get some fresh air, and squeezed in some extra steps.
With our lives being stripped back to basics over lockdown, we slowed down and began to appreciate the small things, meaning that knowing the route turned into recognising the patches of uneven ground, and taking short-cuts we had never had time to discover.
It is too easy for one to say that living in the countryside is an isolated and lonely experience. I believe that within the last year, living rurally has become a luxury, with fields and forests being available, quite literally, on your doorstep.
It is about seeking and grasping onto positivity at the moment, and appreciating the basics. The walk which once functioned to prove to parents that you could exist without your phone, became a mood-boosting adventure. It isn’t just me – many are opening their eyes to the green world around them. By noticing nature, and its fundamentality, it gives hope in allowing it to be returned to its superior position, and us existing around it, not the other way around.