If recent events have taught us anything it is that we are not in charge of this blue marble we call home. This oasis in space, home to over 7 billion people, has shown in spectacular fashion that despite the fact we have found innumerous ways of cultivating our planet we are certainly not the masters of it.
Sat at home (like so many other people at the moment) I look out over my admittedly struggling garden and am constantly struck by the beauty of our home. No matter where you look life is in abundance, from the worms that travel underground in self-constructed subway tunnels to the spiders who spin the most intricate dream catches imaginable. Birds circle overhead, muttering something about being early, while my cat stalks through the grass pretending she is her much larger cousin on the plains of Africa. All this wonderful life survives despite the impact we have had on our planet. We are far too often obsessed with making the world smaller rather than exploring what sometimes is in our very own back garden.
I wish to pose a simple thought experiment. How many trees could you name which would be found in your local area? I think I could name 4 maybe 5 and even then, I’m not sure if I would be able to identify them immediately. Now extrapolate that out to bushes, grasses, butterflies. Suddenly I am surrounded by wildlife which is in shouting distance of my house that I know next to nothing about. Sure, I can tell you about the life cycle of a bee or how the stamen in a flower works but when was the last time I stopped to watch the bee dance or, quite literally, smell the roses. These are all part of the rich tapestry that makes up our planet as a whole and I feel compelled more than ever to take advantage of what is around me.
As a self-professed sci-fi lover, I enjoy losing myself on a strange planet in a tumultuous galaxy. However, on Earth, on Earth’s day, I am very pleased to be a citizen of this big wet rock we call home.
In the spirit of learning more I have attached a picture of trees local to the north west of England. So, the next time you’re on a walk see how many you can identify.