10th July 2021

Our sweet dog Lizzie died this week. Death of pets affects us very deeply for they are all unique and much loved. Even non-mammals have different characters and can establish a relationship with us. Sometimes we see pets and farm animals as separate from the big canvas of nature; we have removed them from the wild and could think that it is our taming and our interaction that leads to these relationships. But let us look at it the other way round. Our relationship with pets shows us that we can respect and relate to other aspects of nature. All of nature is a network of ecosystems, and in an ecosystem all the diverse elements interrelate and affect each other. We too are part of nature. Let us use that knowledge to ensure that our relationships and interaction with our planet are positive elements in our ecosystem.


I can immerse myself in the bowl of summer, feel its edges around me and sink down, down into its unfettered abandon. The sun is loose and free, it soaks through the air, through the ground, through my skin like caramel. The clouds are friends scattering the sky with white or bringing the rain we need to maintain the green and to open up the earth. The days stretch into the night like a house with extra rooms added each summer, rooms to fill with all we want to do in the light and with all the occupations of nature.

Nature fills summer like an Indian wedding, everyone here, everything so full of colour and life. Flowers follow the sun, bees and seeds follow the flowers, and birds follow the seeds. There is so much, a plenitude, so many insects, so many grasses, so many plants with their own colour and form. So many trees sculpting the shapes around us for light and birds to fly through, filling the earth at their feet and the sky at their head, sounding the wind for us when it blows.

We are part of nature and fill each summer with our open bodies. We cannot escape it, cannot avoid responding to its light, its heat, its pollen. We are changed by it, we are part of the great cycle that spirals through the seasons, carrying us all in its loops. This year I am going to live in it fully, greet it each morning and enjoy its embrace. My mind likes hurrying away to the future and holding the summer in my plans, holding its transience and so anticipating its demise. This year I’m not holding the summer, the summer is holding me. I am grounded in the grass, I am blooming like the hawkbit in my lawn with bright heads of yellow florets and fluffy heads of waiting seeds. I am not yesterday or tomorrow, I am here and now, I am turning with the sun, I am happy.