"There is no greater discovery to be made than the wonderment of Nature. Almost seventy years later, I can still remember walking through a field of yellow corn where the plant height exceeded mine. That was the moment I accepted that even were I to grow as tall as trees, Nature would forever stand head and shoulders above me, just as my step son Matthew (who's birthday it is today) does. Happy birthday son, the gentle giant of the family.
How annoying it must be for the Creator to see someone walk through a field of yellow corn, red poppy or purple heather, to stroll through woodlands carpeted in clumps of bluebells and forests of fern and not notice the surrounding splendour? How remiss of one's eyes not to see the wonderful beauty in Nature and to know the endless prospect of its seasonal soul.
When I think upon the magic of the changing seasons and the ability of all manner of creatures across the world to adapt to extreme climates and conditions, I am left in sheer awe. I see bears and other creatures hibernate during severe winters and camels endure the scorching heat of the deserts. When I witness the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and see amphibians change the colour of their skin in order to hide from predators, I watch nature's sorcery at play. It becomes so easy to accept as Aristotle pointed out, that nothing is done in Nature uselessly, and that in all things of Naure, 'there is something of the marvellous.'
Should ever mankind doubt the existence and presence of a supreme being, all one need do is to step into Nature to know the divine intervention that exists to enable ecologocal and evolutionary balance of all creature life and environmental form. When we stop to look at Nature and feel its presence in our lives, we are endowed with the capacity to be soothed and healed by its contribution to our medicine chest and sense of well being. Nature possesses the power and beauty to put a body at peace and to place one's senses in perfect order. Each time we lose ourselves in Naure, we find peace within ourselves. Each time we listen more closely to Nature's message, we understand our own lives better. Every time we watch a snowflake fall, hear the first cuckoo of spring, observe catterpillas become butterflies or see the heads of hardy cycamen pop through the harshness of winter ground, we know that there lies within the land upon which we walk, a poetry of the soul that never dies.
So embrace all aspects of Nature that surrounds you at every opportunity and grow more familiar with its ways. Once you learn to love all creatures, you will grow to love the land that nurtures them and you and never be fearful of life again.
I end with one of my all-time favourite quotations by Galileo Galilie, ' I've loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.' " William Forde: September 10th, 2015.