One of the most wonderful things about the natural world is that it doesn’t answer back; it’s an escape from the everyday problems of life and a refuge where I can forget my problems and also the day-to-day trivia, which becomes less important as I get older. Communicating with nature is a one-way process; it speaks to us in pictures, sound and emotion; we can enjoy it, not the other way round. Most of the world seems not to appreciate its wonders and what it offers. In the rich developed world everyday life proceeds at a ridiculously complicated pace and there are so many distractions, mostly fuelled by technology; none of these compares with the simple pleasure of looking at a flower or bird.
The great mistake man has made is to believe that we are different, somehow better, detached from nature and in control of it. We are not; we’re as much a part of nature as it is a part of us, but unfortunately we’ve developed such power over the rest of it that we are in danger of destroying what’s left very quickly. We’ve abused the land and the creatures that live on it and view the planet as a commodity to be used. Only now, at the eleventh hour is mankind gradually waking up to the fact that the natural world, including the land is a community to which we all belong; only when this realisation is finally embedded into our psyche and we begin to treat the planet with due care and respect will we turn the corner in the battle to save it. I dread to think what the world will be like a century from now; it will depend on what this generation can achieve in the next two decades. I don’t really hold out much hope for my grandchildren to be able to communicate the way I can.