Written by Froglife’s Transforming Lives Trainee, Elizabeth Disdel
When asked to write an entry for the Croaks newsletter about the nationwide project #LoveParksWeek, my mind immediately jumped (pun intended) to one of my favourite poems…
“When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
— Wendell Berry
I am unsure if you will feel the same, but this poem means much more to me after lockdown than it did before. Whilst the world seemed to be crashing into chaos, green places became places of solace for many. Green spaces are often (correctly) touted as being infinitely important for wildlife – with many species relying on them to protect against destructive habitat fragmentation and protect their space to exist within a sprawling metropolis of concrete triffids and fast-moving cars. Whilst this is true, and so important, we must remember that these spaces are for humans to find peace within too. We are not as far removed from the natural world as we might think we are or try to be.
Parks are reminders that all beings, both human and other, can live in accordance with Mother Nature and as One.