I wrote this two days after the beginning of the first lockdown in the UK (can you believe that’s almost two years ago?). I didn’t share it at the time – I think I thought it was a bit silly – but lately there is such a profound sadness in me about the land and about the way we live. Some anger, too.
Many people now long to return to a simpler way of life. Long for the freedom of having a piece of land on which they can grow their own food and live a healthier life more in tune with the Earth. Long for hard work of a different kind, that doesn’t entail endless hours in an office or selling one’s soul to put food on the table.
But where is the land? The land is owned by wealthy landowners. The land is bought up by developers for profit. More and more houses are second homes and holiday cottages, when so many who would want it are with no home at all. To own a house and land enough to sustain a small family is beyond the reach of most.
Ben and I have almost constant conversations about the unbelievable strength and courage it takes today to simply live a simple life.
Anyway, I hope this touches you in some way.
Is the world crumbling?
It’s hard to tell.
But even if it is, I think it’s ok.
My parents have ordered more fat balls from The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, so even if the world crumbles and even if we crumble too, it will all go on with the sound of birdsong in our ears.
And I think I can basically cope with anything so long as the birds are singing.
We are the lucky ones.
When this is over, if it doesn’t all crumble, that is, we should make sure that everyone has a little patch of land to work and tend and a bird feeder and fat balls. Life would be simple and good.
What have we done?