4th December 2021

It isn’t just the conditions on our planet that are worrying, the loss of biodiversity and climate change to name but two. It is the conditions within humanity. I am not talking just about corruption or greed, but rather the oppositional nature of so much interaction. This leads to distrust of folk in other ‘camps’ whatever they may be, ‘othering’ them and wanting to convert them or bar them, sometimes leading to hatred and death threats. Wanting to win.

This demonstration of competition and extreme tribalism has been attributed to our nature, that we too operate on survival of the fittest. However biologists now recognise that this has not been the dominant strategy in the evolution of our life forms. Cooperation, not competition, gives the greatest advantage in evolutionary survival and advancement. Can we change our modus operandi so that in our decision making at all levels we are seeking to work co-operatively with each other and with the planet? Can we make our daily dance a dance of life?

Where the birds sing

Up at the dawn of the dawning, the yawning of the day. It is a sallying forth to come down here as the mornings sharpen and darken. The heat and light in the house hold me womb-like and the garden is strange territory. But here I am, in commonality with the trees and leaves, in community. We all sit with sleep in our systems, the warmth or cool of night in our blood, the slowness of it still heavy in our bodies, responding to the call of the day. Come and creep over us, around us, through us. Come and awaken with verb instead of noun, come and light our fires, stoke our boilers, prepare us for living and breathing and choosing.

The birds are awake before me, they sing gently while the leaves switch on. I am in a cage of quiet with birdsong as the bars. I am solid, I am seated. The rain should be coming later, can they feel it? Does it send a message in the air riding before it? Here is a breeze, sneaking in from the west, pouring gently through the oak tree in soft susurrations of sound, then swaying the ash and apple boughs that line its path before it reaches my right cheek with a cool stroke.

Apples have fallen in the night, full and replete, red and round, submitting at last to the love of gravity, lying as offerings to the new season. The rose leaves at the top of the trellis are catching the light, the new day, and holding it on their plate, offering it shining to the rest of us. It is such a big thing yet it weighs light as gloss, glancing off the leaves in an orchestra of silence.