We feed the wildlife and occasionally help with injured and sick animals and birds but, what does nature give us in return?
Nothing? Are we that arrogant and self-centred to see what she gives us freely and without expectation?
Walking alone in the early morning mists of spring, smelling the unpolluted air of the countryside, hearing the crisp frosted grass cracking under my feet, my warm breath condensing as it hits the sharp cutting air. My body and soul relaxed, my thoughts drifting like clouds, freed from the humdrum pressures of work and all the minor irritations that bring discord to my being.
My eyes wander over the monochrome landscape as nature awaits the first rays of the sun to creep over the horizon; the sky painted, by the greatest artist we will ever know, in the pastel pre-dawn hues of blue and red.
A movement at the edge of a misty dark wood stops me; a young timid fallow deer is foraging for food. The mist clings to the deer wrapping her in its ethereal embrace as she constantly stops and looks for danger, quickly dipping her head to eat a small fresh shoot in the ground. I realise that I’ve stopped breathing as I strain to be silent and invisible, relishing the moment that nature is offering me and then with a flick of an ear she is gone and the mist closes behind her.
As the sun lazily breaks over the horizon the soft light warms up the animals and insects stretch their wings and legs. Birds welcome the start of a new dawn with natures own organic IPod; constantly changing melodies drift across the fields as each bird sings to its friends, its lovers and its rivals. Small flocks fly overhead, flitting from tree to tree endlessly searching for food and the chance to find a mate.
The ground is kissed by the first weak rays of the sun; the dew on the ground glistens as each droplet becomes a sparkling light, turning each blade of grass and plant into a miniature crown. Each deadly spider web becomes a necklace adorned with perfect liquid diamonds.
Sunlight filtered through the mist spot illuminates the flowers and plants that hug the ground as the larger trees reach upwards, their limbs making the sun rays dance around them.
Strolling by the side of a lazy river that meanders down through the green cloaked hills and listening to the bubbling of the water as it glides around the rocks and pebbles.
Watching the overhanging leaves and branches kiss the surface as the water tries to rip them from their precarious grip on the bank, the water flowing around the obstructions and then merging once again.
Dragonflies dance over the surface dipping into the water to surrender their precious offspring to chance and the fish, unseen, wait below the surface for a free meal.
As the sun rises higher the keen eyed aerial hunters circle slowly on the rising warm air thermals searching the fields far below for their prey, their world is one we can only dream of being part of.
The shadows grow longer as the sun bows to meet the earth. Other hunters emerge from their resting places to start the nocturnal fight for survival. The owl silently quarters the fields as the voles and field mice scurry from hiding place to hiding place.
Nature constantly enriches me; it never demands anything and yet it gives everything. It feeds my soul and brings me peace.
It is time to open our hearts and minds; to bathe in the wild untameable beauty of nature and to delight in the sights and sounds that challenge our understanding.
It is time to realise that nature doesn’t belong to us because we belong to nature.
When we hurt nature we are only hurting ourselves.