|These plastic leaves found washed up on a beach sum up the problem of modern living for me, we need to change our habits.|
There is no doubt that we humans love nature, but we have moved further and further away from it. All too often we surround ourselves with plastic imitations of the real thing: pictures on our walls; ornaments; decoration on pencil cases, bags, clothing... It's a disconnect that's bad for our own physical and mental health as well as for the health of our planet.
It is only very recently in man's evolution that we have shut ourselves away from nature, in boxes that shut out the natural elements and natural light. We evolved to be immersed in it, not distanced from it, our bodies are built to work in harmony with it, not to fight it or eliminate it. It seems to me that we have progressively sought to shut nature down, order it, organise it, stamp our will upon it rather than try to harmonise ourselves with it. Perhaps that's why sailing is such a hugely therapeutic and positive activity for me. I feel more at one with nature, more in harmony, it feels like you are using nature's forces, but not forcing them or subduing them, not shutting them down, but embracing and exhilarating in them.
So here I sit, in a box that has too little of the natural world in its interior as well as its immediate surroundings, a garden that needs re-populating with life; rooms that need natural fabrics and materials... and I understand a bit better why that has been so important in my life, why I love camping, running in the rain, immersing myself in the sea, the forest, the mountains, the skies. And why I'm ready to do all I can to preserve it for future generations, and inspire my boys to understand how vital it is for our happiness and wellbeing as well as the small matter of our survival.