As a boy I would often go for walks with my parents and sisters. Like many families in the 1950s we didn’t have a car, so the ‘bus or Shanks’s Pony were the way we got about.
We lived in the country and so much of our walking was along country lanes, across fields and through woods. My earliest memories of these walks would be, I suppose, from the times between when I was about 5 and 8, and all four of the homes we had in that time were just to the West of the developing Heathrow airport. The majority of the aeroplanes that I would see quite low overhead were propeller driven to give you an idea of how long ago all of this was.
As we walked we would talk and look. Strolling along gives you time for that sort of thing and we would watch how the hedgerows and trees changed over the seasons, what was going on in the fields and beyond. It made the walk pass in style and we learned as we went.
That tendency to look around me has stayed with me over the years. There is so often something in a cloud formation or any view that can influence your senses. It may lift your spirits or it might moisten your eyes, but look around you and let these things touch you. Smell the roses as they say.
At the moment I am driving to work leaving home while it is still dark. It is a transient time, but I get to the place I am working at just as dawn breaks. Every morning produces a different sky and that changes as I walk from the car park to the building, every time a thing of beauty to start the day with.
The media make stupid remarks about nature being out of control whenever there is another earthquake or similar occurrence. Nature has never been nor will ever be under our control. We have to live with nature and take whatever it gives us. sometimes that will be tragic for our fellow creatures, but far more often it will give us something to enjoy if we only look for it.
So open your eyes, use your peripheral vision and see what is going on all around you and take a moment to be fascinated by it. You’re not here for long in the general scheme of things; enjoy it while you can.