Seeking Inspiration From a Concrete Jungle

I set out to write this blog to share my everyday experience of the Ocean with you. One thing I’m pretty sure blogs should be good at is honesty…so I’m going to be honest. I have been suffering from writer’s block. I haven’t written a new blog for a month and no matter how many interesting articles I read, I can’t seem to engage enough with one in order to write about it.

I have been back in London for 7 months now…I can’t quite believe it’s been that long! I’m not sure how many of you have lived in London but it is relentless. You don’t stop, and when you do you either spend the whole time feeling guilty for stopping or you are so ill you are forced to. This is why your time flies and as time flies you start to realise what you sacrifice in order to keep up. It is often what nourishes you the most that suffers, and for me that is my engagement with our Ocean.

Three weeks ago however I found myself standing looking out over the Irish Sea and watching, in awe, as two dolphins raced through the water to round up their catch. For the next twenty minutes everything stood still and I was completely enraptured by this beautiful moment.

Some time after this I found myself reflecting on how rare that moment of serenity had been for me. I have somehow submitted to the intoxicating pace of London life and in doing so forgone these wonderful moments in nature. It also struck me that in order to experience this one moment I had got on a plane, caught a train and hiked. Just for one single moment connecting to anything other than ourselves.

I have been lucky to forge a life in which I know nature. I have been brought up in a family which spent our time roaming the sand dunes in Northumberland or jumping out of brambles in Black Down Forest or crashing through the waves in Cornwall. I spent my childhood covered in mud or water or sand and probably most the time all three. I helped my mum pluck and disembowel pheasants when I still needed a stool to reach the sink. I painted the birds that fed off our garden with my dad. I have watched the killing of a cow and helped skin it. I have seen animals in the wild. I have seen salmon swim upstream. I engaged in nature and it engaged with me.

What hit me when I saw those two dolphins was the realisation that I was the minority. Most city dwellers do not have all these experiences.

For seven months now my home has been a concrete jungle. I feel disconnected with the Ocean. The powerful inspiration I’m used to when writing has waned. Do not doubt, I still care deeply but I cannot feel, touch or smell what I love. I rarely engage with nature and it rarely engages with me. So this is what I wonder…

How can we inspire the billions of city dwellers across the globe to protect our planet if their jungle has only ever been concrete?


4 thoughts on “Seeking Inspiration From a Concrete Jungle

  1. Julie johnson says:

    I Love the line’ I engage with nature and it engages with me’ so true and so wise. Then Amy you leave us all with the challenge, of inspiring those who live in the cities of our world, young and old to engage with nature and be so inspired that they reach out with compassion and seek to protect it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bronwen says:

    Really enjoyed the honesty of the blog, and how it captures the battle between wanting to be in nature and the distraction of the city. It definitely resonates!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jordan Rolfe says:

    I think the thing that resonated with me most in this blog (which was almost all of it) is the selflessness that you have to have in order to have a social life among all the other demands of life I. London. And for the moments you don’t or can’t keep up and become more selfish are the times you feel guilty for it!

    I like the question you leave us with. It’s this systemic thinking that we need to adopt as an approach to solving the environmental/societal issues that define our times. In this context it makes you think of all the environmental campaigns around us that beg the attention of city dwellers, maybe what they need to be campaigning for first is for people to engage with nature. Only then will the other campaign be seen and heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AJ says:

      Thanks Jordan, your final reflection is food for thought! I wonder if there is a way to change our education system in order to engage our young with nature once more!


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