When describing what Holy Cake Day is, I said that it is a three-fold issue: limiting sugar, spending time with the people around us, and reconnecting with nature. I have talked about the sugar part in other posts (Cravings, Oh, Honey…, Am I the Crazy one? to name just a few), and will most likely talk some more, and I touched upon the second one as well (Imaginary Communities). But I haven’t talked about nature yet.
When I first drafted this post, I had a hard time focusing only on the positives, which is the purpose of HCD. I kept writing about all the horrible and thoughtless things we do to our planet, all the things that make us such a stupid species. But I think I should leave that for later, because I really want to emphasise why nature plays such a big part in HCD.
One of my beliefs is that, although we are creatures that have evolved in a natural environment, we have lost touch with it to a large extent. We don’t live in a truly symbiotic relationship anymore. We are animals, and just like any other animal on Earth, we need the nature around us to thrive. Nature is forever fascinating, amazing, bewildering. I believe it holds all the answers to our existence, whether we are able to find them in it or whether we like them or not. But look at our cities: how much nature can you actually see if you look outside the window right now? I hope you are lucky enough to answer at least “some”. I grew up in concrete-dominated city. Yes, we had parks, though few and not always very green, and even a small garden, but that’s not enough when we breathe polluted air, are freaked out by all the small creatures crawling in our houses, and we hardly know where our food is coming from.
The conquering of nature has been a long battle for the human race. Some may think we have won this battle. But have we? Even if we have conquered it (which I don’t believe we have), is that a victory? For one, nature can still deal deadly blows to us, so no, we haven’t conquered anything. For another, changing our environment so much that we think it represents the answer to our “civilised” needs is in no way a victory.
But I want to be positive now and think about the healing power of nature. This means so many things. It can be the healing power of the food it gives us, the healing power of the sun that makes us function better (think about how light regulates our sleep, how much better we feel when we can stay in the sun a little), but also the calming effect of being in the quiet or noise of nature. Think of the silence of the woods, the sounds of the waves, the wind in the trees, the birds singing, frozen tree branches clinking in the wind. One of my favourite things is watching the sunrise and the colours of the sky changing. Another one is staring at the moon. I could literally, and actually have done so, stare at it for hours (that was when I was young, with few responsibilities, and could do that at night and still function properly the following day).
Now I’m not suggesting we all move to the forest to scavenge and hunt for a living. But I do feel we need to close the gap a little bit. While some of us may have gardens and may be able to bring a bit of nature into our living quarters, so many others don’t. Whichever category we fall into, we should still make more of an effort to find nature, learn more about it and interact with it in a respectful way. In order to feel connected with the nature around us and inspired to help protect it, we need to spend time with it on a regular basis. If that’s not possible close to our home, we should go look for it. As often as we can. This will only benefit us.
This is why I think Holy Cake Day should be spent, as much as possible, in nature. Walking, running, cycling through it. Resting, playing, enjoying a treat surrounded by it. I defy you to do that and still feel like you are not connected, like you don’t have a responsibility towards it.