Doing my bit

(c) Neil Aldridge

Tomorrow's Natural Leader Liberty explains why getting closer to nature is so important.

This time last year, the morning would have hit me with a bruised brain and a strong coffee. I’d have rolled out of my university halls room, tripping over rambles of discarded paper saved for a constant tomorrow, and into a stream of consciousness. My halls were neighbour to this stream, a constant flow of students from their bouncing student houses to the stark white of the seminar room.

My walk, therefore, was laden with soggy-eyed occupied absent sighs and a collision of energies that made me feel more alone than ever. The consumerist culture upset me, but motivated me to make a change.

Now, a year and 52 miles later, I am one step closer to alleviating the frustration I felt in that environment. Instead of heady aromas of cider and smoke, my morning walk to the farm is touched by the gentle colours of autumn. This is amongst my favourite moments of the day, and definitely make a 6 am start more attractive. It’s one rare moment which I can claim for myself and relax into the silence of the world.

The mile-long road to Appleton Mill Farm descends through the site’s ancient woodlands, providing a rich supply of material for my budding obsession in tree identification. I find it exhilarating to stare into a world that I once saw merely as a green wall, and coming away learning the names of two or three more awesome shapes. This connection with nature is a true gift, and it’s ignored by the incessant stream of progression that invades our society and makes us depressed.

The culture contrast between the ‘box’-style living and the Emerald World has always been disillusioning for me. But within Yorkshire Wildlife Trust I’m beginning to see the ways in which I can contribute to a greener world.

To my dismay, I am no scientist; I also struggle with logic and the simple mechanical stuff. However, my desire for a greener planet inspires me to put the skills I do have to the play, and be open to develop others. We can all motivate each other by making our voices heard in our own special way, grinding our special gear to kick start the machine of Planetary Recovery.

Once we unlock ourselves from our minds and gaze at the ancient being looming above us on the street corner, we move one step closer to happiness.