When in doubt, look up.
Or down. Or about.
In these uncertain times, people are increasingly turning to nature writing for solace. Even after ecological disasters, nature just carries on. When I left for work this morning the young rooks in the trees were squabbling like noisy children just like they have done every year.
I look at my cat, she has no idea about the problems in the world. I read this news article that suggests otherwise (excerpt below, one of the more palatable of recent days) –
Cats would vote to leave EU and then refuse to go out
Britain’s cats would vote to leave the EU but refuse to go out once the door was opened, they have announced.
Despite yowling desperately to be let out, they would take one look at the climate on the other side of the door before silently returning to the settee and licking themselves.
Attempts to force them through the door would be met by either entirely fake affection and purring or psychotic rage, pretty much at random.
Cats went on to reserve the right to keep asking to leave the EU every so often so they could take a look outside and see if it smelled interesting.
I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature Of All Things some time ago, after being pressured by a friend but also assured that it was nothing like Eat, Pray, Love, but never blogged it properly as I couldn’t think of an interesting angle. It’s a book. It’s quite good. There’s travel, history and nature in it, but the nature part is what stayed with me. Alma Whittaker is a young woman full of botanical passions, one of which is for moss. This book really made me look at moss. Some looks like little stags horns. Some looks like little cabbages. I look down on the tiny scale of green and wonder if there happens to be a god, is this how we look to them. A whole ting world is going on under our feet.
Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk is another treasured nature read, a lot of frosty mornings, majestic animals and complex human relationships. I was first drawn to the book by an article in the Guardian featuring how various musicians and writers spent Christmas, in which it seems lots of people have large happy families and huge Dickensian celebrations. However, Helen was planning to spend Christmas with her mum, and while she was cooking dinner, Helen would go for a walk around a quarry and think about the loss of her father. Sounds just like my kinda Christmas.
I’m not sure if the ‘if you feel bad, look at a sparrow’ style of therapy will take off, but it’s helping me. I leave you with a sledging otter gif, as all things should be left.