I’m going to write a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while, and it starts with an apology.
An apology for the fact that my last post was all the way back in April, and an excuse or two.
In Spring, two things happened. Firstly I got a new job, which has left me with a lot less spare time than before. secondly, my wife and I found out we were expecting, which meant the spare time I did have got taken up by blind panic, googling, sorting out things for the baby, including sourcing a box full of cloth nappies from London, and finally feeling at some sort of ease with the whole idea and feeling ever so slightly ready (FAMOUS LAST WORDS IF EVER I HEARD THEM).
Also though there is another reason for my absence, one that I feel goes a bit deeper than my fairly feeble excuses above. That is how nature effects me during the Summer months.
I have never felt more creative as I do in the colder months. There is something about Summer that stifles me, my connectivity to the land in a cultural and spiritual sence. This is something I have felt keenly this year and something that I feel I may finally have been able to put my finger on. During Summer the world itself is so creative and the irony of this is that I find myself playing catch up. Summer, especially this year has been about trying to deal with the earths creativity, by mowing fields, dealing with invasive species, controlling bracken. It has been non stop and at every turn there is more to do. In a sence my world has become narrower, more focused on the job and less focussed on why I love the job, which is the connection it gives me to the world creatively and spiritually.
The result of this is that I haven’t written anything on or offline for months, nor have I felt a connection to the land as I used to. However, it is coming back, hence my post.
Autumn for me is the beginning of the exciting time of year to work in conservation. This may sound odd, given that the world around us is dying and wildlife is hunkering down, however this is where the fun begins, where decisions I make and the work I do shapes the habitats I work in. It is now that we begin thinking about habitat creation, it is now that the exciting projects providing habitat for a new range of target species begin; heathland management for Nightjar, woodland glade creation for Willow Tit. This time of year is when our most positive, creative work happens.
This time of year also awakes the connectivity to the land that I’ve been missing. Like I’ve said, a large part of why I love my work is the connection I get to the landscapes around me in a spiritual sence. And by this I do not mean to some sort of deity or religion, I believe in neither. What I mean is the kind of spirituality that is good for the soul, the walk along a Moorland edge, breathing in the cold sharp air and taking in the vista below you, the complexity of the habitat that provides innumerous colours, sights and smells and challenges you to find it beautiful. That feeling inside you when the earth fills you with joy to be alive, recharges you and clears your mind.