My usual morning grumpiness melted a little as the early sun splashed the valley, turning the fields opposite bright and seven noisy geese flew west over the sleepy village roofs. Looking down upon our own roof where my wife still slept, I did my routine stretches, drawing the crisp air deep into my lungs and was rewarded by the sound of three elegant swans beating the air above me as they headed south east. And the sun, artist supreme, painted the underside of each majestic bird traversing this tight valley and off they went, the swans into the complex of hills, the gesse out the end of this cosy nook and off towards Somerset Levels.
And all week, despite the stress scouring my personal life, I could not help thinking about an incredible thing of Global significance which happened this month. It will ease our sleep, help those superb birds and if those in power take note, ought to help us all.
I am sure I am not the only one who wakes deep in the night worrying about the destruction we have caused to nature, mass extinction and Global Warming. Sometimes I emerge from sleep grinding my teeth from angry dreams about politicians who have known about Climate Change since the 1981 Climate Change Conference, but have continually made excuses and not acted, despite overwhelming evidence widely acknowledged in the 1970s. That’s 45 years of inaction. Poor geese, poor swans, poor everything.
OK, so what happened this month? England used less coal than at any time since 1890. Indeed, there were days when we used no coal at all! Beat that! It shows we are at last taking renewable energy seriously.
Of the energy consumed nationwide, 26% came from wind, solar and biomass sources. These are increasing year by year and that means our carbon future could be good. The increase in de-carbonisation of emissions is also excellent, although costly, let’s hope more countries follow this practice. Coal is the worst CO2 pollutant and the use of gas and nuclear is a temporary fix which will help reduce our effect on Global Warming. But we must press our governments. 80% of home heating in the UK is fuelled by natural gas and with government help, this can be decreased by the use of solar panels. Some houses are suitable for small wind generators, and some people are able to consider air pumps, which consume little electricity and produce good heat.
Yet putting on a jumper rather than turning up the central heating as well as using energy suppliers who invest in renewable energy is a step forwards and how about Ecosia as a web searcher, they plant trees. Here’s a link to other ecological search engines -
And smile as you spread the word. Yes, smile. When we smile, even when faking it, it stimulates the release of endorphins. And those receiving our smile can not help feeling a responsive endorphin boost. This enables them to open up a little and listen more attentively to what you are telling the. As if that’s not enough, people who smile are seen as more confident, competent and likeable. Yup, research shows all these factors are true.
After the loud geese and swishing swans had left this valley bathed in birdsong, I made myself smile. Maybe you have your own morning routine which enables you to face the world with an ounce more positivity. Mine, which is essential if I want to escape the self-pity which swamps me each and every morning as I grapple with the devastating feeling of having merged from an all night battle as I wake, is quite simple.
Being British, I always make that essential pot of tea and as it steeps, I go out to greet nature, a sorry sight in a white towelling dressing gown. I should die it green or deep red to avoid frightening our next neighbours, for, due to my health, we are soon to move from this secluded paradise we love and into a town. I stretch and let the sounds around me slip between my thoughts and as they do, I try to ride them, rather than my troubled body, emotions and thoughts. It works most days.