Remember the short film, narrated by Julia Roberts, where she talks as Mother Nature? It makes me cry every time. That message to us is so strong: ‘I’ll recover and evolve, but you………..’

Ever since seeing the first pictures taken by astronauts in 1968 and reading James Lovelocks book “Gaia’ in the early 80’s,  I’ve felt a real passion for the Earth. It’s hard to dismiss the beauty of our home planet, yet so easy to just do what we want regardless of the harm caused. As years went by I got more and more concerned and tried every way I could to live an Earth friendly life. My Dad always told me it would make no difference but I had to keep going.

Finally now I’ve realised that the problem is ours alone. Whatever we do as humans, Mother Nature will be fine. It may take a long time, but she’ll always recover and move forward. We, on the other hand, may well be wiped out like the dinosaurs. And it will be all our own doing.

A sink hole showed me how it works

I saw the truth of this for real over the past few years. In Autumn 2015, in a small Close of houses not far seeing the first pictures taken by astronauts from space in 1968from here, a sinkhole appeared in the middle of the night. I can’t even begin to imagine what this must have been like – to discover that your house is built on collapsing ground. The residents stayed for a while, without water and power, until they moved to alternative accommodation. Walking away from your home, belongings and memories, not knowing what was going to happen – It doesn’t bear thinking about.

It took nearly three years for the work to be completed: understanding what happened, finding out if it would happen again and repairing the damage. The main entry to the Close had to be closed off for safety and the only route in for engineers surveyors, builders and residents was over the lower field of our beloved Heath.

With our own dogs and now our ‘grand-dogs’, we’ve walked this field for the past 30 years. We’ve seen it seeing the first pictures taken by astronauts from space in 1968through a number of incarnations – football pitch, play area, hillock (for some unknown reason!). But when we arrived to see that a road was being built right through the middle of it, I felt really disturbed. In time it became a gravel road with huge arch lights, speed signs and bollards. Suddenly we were the interlopers and the dogs were totally confused.

I didn’t begrudge it

I was upset, but how could I begrudge it when those people had been through so much? I can’t even imagine what is must be like to leave your home without knowing if it would still be standing the next day. Not to mention the blow to its investment value.

But, despite all that, I did worry about the Heath. Would it ever recover? Would the contractors make good or would they just walk away when the job was done? Each time I took the dogs over there, I wondered what was in store for us all.

Powerful Mother Nature did it again

seeing the first pictures taken by astronauts from space in 1968In fact the contractors did walk away. Maybe they weren’t bothered once the job was done or maybe they knew it would be OK – hopefully the latter. Whatever it was, just one year on from the Close re-opening and the field road being abandoned, the gravel path has disappeared and the Heath has recovered herself. It’s a sight for sore eyes and a real lesson in the power of the Earth.

So I’ve finally seen first hand the power of Mother Nature and she is stunning!

It doesn’t mean we don’t have a job to do – we can’t ever let up on the drive to live damage free – getting rid of plastic, driving electric, eating organic, using biodegradables……………… But at least now I know it’s ourselves we’re hurting.

Perhaps Mother Earth is just waiting for us to get on with it and go, so she can have some peace. Perhaps we’re like the miserable relations who stay too long and don’t care about anyone else. Maybe if we really take in that the greatest damage is to ourselves, we’ll finally do something about it.

I hope we do and I hope she can ‘bear with’ for a little longer.

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