In the dusk of a fading day I am aware that I am also in the dusk of a whole world that is disappearing. I catch myself repeating the comforting gestures of millennia. I am leaning against the cold of the stone, feeling the breath of the sheep crowded into the fold, the smells of hay and manure and damp wool, the sounds of their chewing and the water rushing into the drinker, the attentiveness of the dog behind the gate,some crows flying home to roost against a grey January sky.
Up until now getting close to nature for the civilisation that we are, has often meant farming in some form or another. There is something deeply satisfying in these gestures; feeding animals in winter, harvesting fruit or sowing seed. It also represents of some romantic ideal- the kind of thing youngsters dream of when they think they might want to farm. There is some undefinable nostalgia for a past era of connectedness (real rather than virtual) to an earth hologram that most of them are complete strangers to, and in reality largely unequipped to deal with. Agricultural literacy or even basic eco literacy seems to be declining, generation after tecgeneration, into oblivion. And yet this connection is like an umbilical cord in that it quite literally feeds us, physically and emotionally. Our scientific understanding of systems ecology enhances but cannot replace this visceral link. And how are we to transform our relationship to nature if we can't pick up the thread from somewhere?- If we have forgotten what it feels like when the rain is coming or how to prepare for winter. Is this two part of a disappearing world or will it suddenly seem relevant when disaster strikes? Will our new enhanced intuition lunge forth fully formed to replace it?
Searching to find back this connection, this wholeness or co- working has been the business of a lifetime and yet one is aware that at any moment the equilibrium may be catapulted into chaos such as we have never witnessed, to come out transformed or never to come out at all. 'Life is brief and very fragile' - these days it is also laced with toxic chemicals -and the seeds of its own destruction... or transformation as the case may be.