6th October 2021

The Earthshot Prize is going to be awarded this month on the 17th October. It is a new global prize for the environment, designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years. There are five categories: Protect and restore nature; Fix our climate; Clean our air; Revive our oceans; and Build a waste-free world. They are featured on BBC.

Cop 26, the UN climate change conference in Glasgow, is at the beginning of November. Much of the discussions for this are happening now so please keep this in your thoughts and prayers. We need governments and organisations to work together and make commitments and laws that will ameliorate the changes in our climate.

A wonderful group of people are walking from London to Glasgow to be there for it. It is a pilgrimage for nature and is called Listening to the Land https://www.pilgrimagefornature.com/ . Please support them. Pilgrimage for Nature are one of the official events at COP26, which is HUGE and allows them to be a platform for the many voices they have heard from all the people and other fellow beings they have met as they have crossed the land, and the voices of indigenous peoples from overseas who, due to COVID, will not have as much access to the main arena as is normally the case. These are people living on the front line of climate change and whose skills and expertise we need to draw on to survive this. Listening to the Land will be hosting their event on 12th November.

When we do listen to the land, there is so much it gives back despite what we have done to it. There is hope, and joy, and life there. I encourage you to take time and do the same.

Listening to the Land

The wayside plants talk to me as I pass in words of brown and green. ‘Hallo’ they say, ‘we haven’t seen you for a while, are you OK?’ I smile and pass on past huge, happy hazel leaves grinning at the sun, and wine-thorned stems of bramble resting from all the pushing and growing and arching with a maternal air and nests of black drupes.

And oh the red, round earrings, necklaces, jewelled bodices of hawthorn which is modestly turning to dappled yellow and brown so as not to flaunt its pride in such a rich harvest. Elder leaves catch the sun and the spiders and the shape of the day between each leaf as a present to please us as we pass.

Nettles lean drunkenly with their stiff tassels of beads, humbly healing the land with a shy smile. And the grass is still singing as it loves the sky and reaches for embrace before it lays itself down, swayed by the gentlest kiss of air.

All is waiting. All is round and green and well-fed and happy for the year has been won, the roots are holding, the fruits are hanging ready for new times after dead winters and there are no regrets, there is no sorrow for the time that will crumple and blow away leaves and seeds, no fear of bare branches, no awareness of temporary death, just a resting in life, a simple trusting in growth that is part of next season’s bloom. Life goes on.