O H S P R I N G! lift my heart and make me feel F A N T A S T I C A L L Y A L I V E !!!
Every year it comes, full of hope and precious sunshine and growth. Animals and plants that have endured the winter outside are enjoying the hard-earned milder weather, sweeter food and the urgent Great Business of nest-building and raising a family. And new arrivals are migrating in, bringing with them their joyful signals of the time of year.
Today, full of spring vim, instead of a quote I’m sharing a recent walk Dan and I went on, as the day neared dusk and the moon rose in the sky, nearing full, closest to Beltane. It starts with the golden daffodil, bonny and bright. The symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. I grab hold of such symbols, they are the most precious tools in this life! And it is also very like me to be equally entranced by the dry stone wall with its character, moss and cracks home to all sort of life…
The gorse has flowered! such a wonderful sight! an awesomely hardy plant dense with spikes, blooming with the most beautiful golden flowers. I could tell you about this place, site of a Celtic iron-age ring-work fort, but it is a secret (shhhhh!), sacred to local followers of the ‘old ways’ and once the site of ancient carved stones, moved in the past decades to a local museum. Stones so full of some potent energy that when stored before going to the museum they stopped all electronics in the building working. Truth stranger than fiction. Though really it’s just physics and chemistry. Energy is a word, a concept, but it is a reality, and is manifest in every particle and atom, vibrating in the vast spaces within us. And we are full of minerals and metals, as is the world, we react to water, to the influence of the movement of the planets and the phases of the moon, in collective and individual ways. Cultures across the world conceptualise this in many different ways, and if you look past language and cultural interpretations it is the same truth and understanding. We are elemental. And we are powerful.
The birds are so lovely in spring, pairs of wood pigeons snuggled on a high branch, sparrows flitting in bushes, or the wonderful lapwings and their heart-lifting calls up in the hills (see this post). We saw these ostrich (they could be emus…) and they made us laugh with their mating dance, at least that’s what I think it is, they could have just been hiding from us!
On the way back we saw them running, I love seeing ostrich and emus, and alpacas too, they’re so wildly incongrous and exotic, and yet so at home. Ostrich remind me of camels somehow, the attitude they have is so punk and fierce and wonderful.
This year the baby animals have been making my heart ache with a mother’s love. We saw this sweet one in the woods, what a perfect creature, so shy and gently inquisitive, it took small steps towards me, its mother watching calmly on.
This calf below, the cuddliest sweetest teddy-bear soul you could ever meet. He comes from quite a horrible livestock farm, but out on the moors he is happy. There is such a difference, we walked through the farm on our way home and the animals are restless and tense, the atmosphere infused with violence and sadness. The rams and tups were aggressive and quite scary, straining at the fence of their field as we passed, the young lambs looked lost, out of place and vulnerable. A tiny lamb nestled alone in a pile of brick rubble was a picture I couldn’t take, to think of what will happen to it near breaks my heart.
Up in the hills they were living a natural life, and the atmosphere was their own, peaceful, hesitant, powerful and free. It couldn’t have felt more different.
Spring weather is so changeable, suddenly the sky blackened, and then as fast out came the sun. And it didn’t rain after all except for a few drops in the sunshine, which felt like a miracle! Through the sunny haze I saw a newborn tucked into a tuft of grass, looking at me, and as I got my camera out of its case (again!) up it scrambled and on unsteady legs started towards me, through a patch of water and before I knew it and to my utter amazement it came right up to me and touched my hand with its nose, and then it was off to its mother, and I could have wept I was so moved. Dearest little one ♥
We don’t need to take anything from animals. Check out this recipe, this, this and this, all are vegan alternatives to milky foods, all are super delicious nutritious and kind, both to Earth’s creatures and to your body. Cows milk, or goat’s, is not what we’re meant to eat, our bodies cannot digest it properly. I personally don’t see anything wrong with a small-holding and living side by side with animals, in working with them and sustaining each other, as long as they do not suffer. But the mass farming system is cruel and rife with terrible suffering, and we simply do not need to abuse these creatures as we do. The beauty and innocence of a lamb or calf is not the only motivation, all creatures should be respected, humans included, and
their our, environment.
A plant-based diet has hugely positive impact on the environment and production of CO2, it will dramatically cut your carbon footprint. Check out this article, and this for a start. The plant-based vegan revolution is growing so fast, and soon everyone will be on board, let’s make it as soon as possible, as more and more of us realise that Earth needs our action to survive and that one power we do have is that of the consumer, and it is a great deal of power together. What more motivation do we need?
P E A C E .
READ OF THE WEEK : Grant Morrison ‘Animal Man #1’