The joy of entering the woods lifts my spirit. The scent of the soil and the trees, the cooing of wood pigeons and the chirping of great tits brings a sense of calm. It feels like a homecoming. In this small, precious space, a valley nestled amidst acres of private land, I find solace.
As I stroll through this woodland, I am not trespassing. This is part of the mere 5% of land in England where I can legally walk (could be discussed.). My thoughts turn toward the future, to my son, to his generation and the generations of humans after that.
Climate change is a hot topic – how we should live and consume differently, how we change the economic system and our way of living. But doesn’t change only happen when the majority of the population want to see a change? And how can that happen when we are not engaged in our surroundings? And how can we be engaged if we only have access to 5% of this land?
Thinking in that context, we probably have one of the densest populations in the world.
Thoughts come and go freely when I am walking through the woods and
looking at the marvels, from the small buds to the first sighting of a bumblebee.
What is she doing here so early in the season? Where can she find pollen?
I pass a grand old beech, one of my favourite trees, looking at the leaves which
have just emerged. How green they are, translucent, a very special green. I am a guest here, walking on this soil, and one day in hundreds of years
hopefully someone else will walk here and look at a beech tree and
wonder at this beautiful green of the leaves in springtime.
Does this soil belong to someone? Doesn’t it belong to Mother Earth and we
gratefully walk on it. How can you own land? This thought is absurd to me – as absurd as the thought that someone can own people. But only 200 years ago, that was accepted, and then fiercely rejected. And here we are, moving rapidly towards a time when AI will predict and own our behaviour patterns and freedoms. What else will we accept or reject?
The blackbird brings me back to the here and now, and just a hundred metres away a red deer observes me.
Walking up the muddy track in the autumn, the smell of decaying leaves gives a heavy richness. My thoughts start to wander again.. imagine if the Earth was some sort of Airbnb – what kind of review would we guests get?
‘They stayed here for 80 years, burnt our floor boards, chiselled the wall apparently looking for something and then they tried to melt the windows and opened the freezer door before they left. I smile wryly and think ‘Am I that idiot?’
I spot something glowing at my feet – a cluster of Deceivers, brown-orange mushrooms. I feel an urge to lie down beside them and connect with the roots.
This project is a walk through a wood in Yorkshire. Each image has been composed by 7 images merged together so you get a 360 degree image as a final result, and then it is put into software where you create a globe. The project lasted for 3 years so all the seasons are fused into one walk. The project includes 22 images.