Thursday, 24 December 2009

Being At Home

It occurred to me after I’d posted Woods, Heath and River (22 Dec) that the line ‘What better time for it than winter solstice?’ was vague. What did I really want to say? What did it have to do with Transition?

Mostly, making the time to go out and tune in to the seasons and the earth cycles puts everything into a larger context. It’s then not just about trying to control or save the planet (or change other people). It’s more to do with being aware of where I am and not wanting to be somewhere else.

This awareness has practical consequences, not least in terms of fossil fuel.

I remember a winter in England in the mid 90s. After spending Christmas in a freezing caravan near Lyme Regis and having no luck finding a place to settle, I thought sod it and flew to Mexico, where I had studied, travelled, worked, loved and lived in earlier years.

Since those days my desire to rush off or escape to other countries has diminished to almost zero. I’m happier to be at home. To visit people and places within East Anglia. To eat locally grown food in season. To seek out and find the beauty right here where I live.

This doesn’t mean that the countryside I live in is idyllic. I’m surrounded by arable fields full of pesticides and fertilisers. The pollution from street lighting in the towns has increased. And there are those oil tankers on the horizon.

Still there is the living planet itself, there are the cycles of the year. There is birdsong, there are great trees, there are the woods, the heath, the river.

In the library yesterday the people on the computers either side of me were on the search for holiday flights, away from England, away from winter. I suddenly realised I didn't have those desires any longer. I didn't want to get away from home.

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