Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My heart lies in the forest

After recent events in Paris, one of the few memorable reactions on my Twitter feed was from a woman bewildered and feeling the cold shock of a secure hold on daily life slipping away. I cling to my land, she said. I don't know if she meant it literally or metphorically but it brings up once again the question of landscape as comfort and stability. It is the familiarity of 'one's own' physical territory that offers a sense of consistency that can be relied upon in a world that is changing alarmingly before our aging eyes. Those of us who believed our generation would at least never see another world war begin to doubt that flimsy hope, as layer upon layer of hatred, intolerance and misconception flattens and stunts the potential of  humanity.
The rate of change in landscape can be as rapid as a fallen building, or as gradual as the creeping threat of floods with climate change, but we like to feel it remote in our immediate surroundings, at the millenia speed of eroding granite.We have been startled in Brittany to discover last week that the state is to sell off some of our forests, those symbols of life before human settlement, of the longevity that spawns legends. Forests that were once noisy places of human abode and economic activity are now mostly silent and dressed in recreational attire of finger-posts and picnic tables. Is this an identity to be perpetuated for the sake of our need to believe nature is all around us and that we are still alive in some meaningful way? Do we need forests? Of course we do. I clung to my land this week with gratitude.


Lucy said...

Lovely, austere meditation, as I would expect from you. Thanks.

WM said...

Thanks, Lucy. I hope all is well in your world.