Sunday, 17 October 2010

So you think you're a Nature lover? Think again...


"I love Nature."

"I'm a Nature lover!"

What does that actually mean? We box up Nature into diary-sized bites, we squeeze it into a walk in the woods, a picnic at the park, a stroll along the beach.

We view Nature through our television screens, conservatory windows; from the security of the sofa, or the car seat, or the train carriage.

We indulge in Nature.

We watch a sterilised grotesque: a creepy centipede scuttering in the darkness, a dung beetle rolling itself through the low-lit living room, the swallow swooping up to the ceiling, until the red button, and bed time.

Aliens and creatures of science fiction craft themselves in elements of Nature to frighten us, because we don't know it well enough, because we don't know it any longer. Oceanic tentacles loom from outer space; soil-clogged claws snap from the great unknown in the sky, vines untouched by secateurs extend, tendril by tendril, into our horrified imaginations.

David Attenborough is no substitute for a life lived in the great outdoors.

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