Spring Time and Nature
Words by Haili Hughes
Photographer – Lace and Pearl Boudoir Photography Website – www.laceandpearl.co.uk Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01772 369159
Dress – The Pretty Dress Company
“Nature is a language can’t you read?” – ‘Ask’ by The Smiths
Perhaps it was due to the destruction of many British towns during the 1940s, or people just wanted to get back to basics in an increasingly consumer-driven society, but during the 1950s, folks flocked to the countryside in droves. Be it for a day trip and hike or a weekend away from the hustle and bustle, people were really starting to appreciate the magic and wonder of the nature around them.
Of course, nature is essential for the survival of humans. Not only do our forests absorb harmful Carbon Dioxide and exhale Oxygen, they are habitat for thousands of amazing species of animals, birds, and insects. Today, we are very aware of our carbon footprint and almost every house recycles and strives to live an eco-friendlier life. In the 50s however, global warming was a foreign idea; it was only in the late 1950s that telescope studies showed a greenhouse effect, which raised temperatures of the atmosphere. (www.history.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm)
In 1949, the government established the Nature Conservancy and began to identify and protect prime areas of natural beauty. Its goal was to establish a series of National Nature Reserves both for scientific research and to provide habitat for animals. Of course, with a growing population, the main threat to the conservation interest was land development, as families and young couples struggled to find affordable houses, towns expanded and green belts diminished.
Fast forward 60 years and I found myself at an interesting juncture. After years living in London, enjoying all the amusements and diversions that city life had to offer, I was offered a job in the countryside: the desolate and haunting Saddleworth moors. I had never really heard of it. Apart from its grim past as the burial place of innocent children, I knew nothing about it, but one visit and I was hooked. Now, two years later and the rugged and beautiful landscape is as much a part of my heart as the blood that pumps around my body. Nature has transformed my life.
As an example, walking in the woods at Dovestone’s Reservoir is a thankful and almost spiritual experience; to breathe in the silence of nature, appreciate the scent of beauty and enjoy the crunch underfoot of a carpet of leaves. Without a doubt, nature allows us to escape from the stress of our everyday lives. We now have less relaxation time than we have ever had. The longer working hours, congestion on the roads and 24-hour contactability mean that we spend more of our time ‘switched on’ than we ever have. I need to use social media for my job, and the power of reaching out to others is both incredible and empowering. But for me, there is nothing more liberating than leaving the phone at home and immersing myself in the best our amazing planet has to offer.
We have recently been blessed with good weather and there is nothing more inspiring than waking up to the sounds of birds chirping in the trees and the sun warming the dew decorated grass – its diamond-like blades glinting in the warm rays. At the bottom of my garden is a blossom tree and when there is a breeze, I love to feel the pink blooms fall on my shoulders, like a flash of colour on a dull, grey pavement. It is the simple things like this that make each day a magical memory to cherish.
In a world where we are defined by our clothing, gadgets or the car we drive, I want to give my son fond memories of hiking wilderness trails, dipping his toes into isolated streams and always remind him of the joys he’s experienced in the outdoors. Why don’t you try it? Put down that mobile phone, back away from that laptop and leave the remote control next to the sofa. Instead, feel the wind run through your hair and the let the positive power of sunshine massage your skin. After all, the earth has been around for over four billion years – you can’t get more vintage than that!