It’s early morning and the sun’s light is just beginning to seep through a slender gap in the curtains. I am still, listening silently to the birds as they twitter and sing outside.
I think: ‘god I want to be a bird’.
|Red Kites in the Chilterns|
Mulling over this idea with my dad later that day I verbalise how sometimes it feels as though we humans measure ourselves by the homes we have purchased, the clothes we wear, the jobs we hold down and how, at times, I just want to strip it all away and just be. My mum chimes in – to my not unusual wistful musings! – with an accepting sigh that we do indeed gather far too many belongings around us. These things bring us comfort, I guess, and yet somewhere in this stuff we can become lost and frustrated, forgetting that the only belongings that really matter are each other; the words we share, the love we feel, the bonds we make.
At times I agonise about making the right decisions in life, making sure I live the very best life I can. But some days when I listen to the birds I wonder ‘who’s drum beat am I marching to?’ It is easy to allow our own dreams and desires to be swallowed up by what is expected of us; how can I fly when my society expects me to stay bound to life on terra firma?
At the weekend I went camping with a girlfriend and that one night away in an inconsequential town chosen only for its ideal distance between two friends, reminded me that it is entirely possible to live with nothing but that which we need. We cooked in one pot, we slept under canvas, we talked without technology, we marveled from 5am until 11am at nothing but the natural world that unfolded in the sparkling dawn around us and I realised that even I, in my simple life on water, still find myself bound to things from which I long for release.
I wonder: ‘can we, as people, fly like birds and free ourselves of the need for boundaries, the need for stuff. Can we live with nothing more than love, nature and each other?’ Perhaps we all of us are bound to some thing, some place, some expectation; but in these light hazy Summer mornings, I think about flying … a lot.
On another note
In response to my recent post about animals, I received a number of comments and emails with thoughts on what I shared. Many were moved in some way to perhaps consider changes in their eating habits or meat choices, and that alone has made me glad that I shared my thoughts. However, overwhelmingly people felt that the film, although real, was perhaps a bringing together of the most extreme cases. Perhaps there is some truth in this, but my take is that there is no humane way to partake in taking a life unless you are there yourself to ensure it is to your standard and even slaughter houses in the UK, some certified by the Soil Association for their ‘humane slaughter’ credentials, have proved this in secret filming. I don’t want to go on, but here are some interesting links for those of you who joined in the conversation:
If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls, Resurgence Magazine, Mar/Apr 2012
Interview with Earthlings director, Shaun Monson
Animal Aid Humane Slaughter Campaign
Humane Slaughterhouses? Daily Mail, 2010
Paul McCartney narrates Glass Walls, Peta’s look at the processes involved in the slaughter of animals
And if you eat meat, perhaps you might want to support compassion in World Farming - Actively seeking global reform for billions of farm animals suffering around the world