Throughout school and to the present (I am currently studying my Master’s degree) I have studied biology with a particular focus on conservation, ecology and wildlife management. My life revolves around the natural world and science. I have trained and studied to look deep into nature to understand the subtle and complex interactions of humans and the natural world and the effects this has on nature.
I am blessed by God in knowing what my passion is: I love this world He created, He put us here on this earth to be stewards of His land, His creation! Genesis is full of it (1:26, 1:28, 2:15 to name a few) but my favourites here are Revelation 22:13 and Genesis 1:26. It gives me security and peace to know with such certainty that God, who made this world that I love with its flawless and beautiful complexity, claims me and trusts me to look after His creation.
I have, at certain troubled times of my life, retreated to a spot by a river in a woodlands local to me; an area where I can feel so small surrounded by the towering pine trees, so soft sitting on the hard rocks and so still next to the ever flowing river. I feel this spot was made for me! Specifically, to remind me I am small, soft and slow… but I am ME with all my complex thoughts and feelings, protected and watched, cared for and loved. Here I feel His hand on my shoulder, feel Him smiling at the beauty of the world and I smile too.
That is why I have dedicated my life to conservation, to put up a fight against the worst mankind has to offer and what we do to this world; because that is what I am meant to do. Some of the work I have done is to volunteer at my local wildlife trust. I did this for a year whilst in college and found it to be an incredible educational experience. At the same time I worked with the local wildlife recording centre and learnt about the importance of recording wildlife (and I highly recommend everyone records their garden wildlife!)
My faith and my love for this world are signs and causes of my purpose. I can’t deny the deep and dedicated connection between me and the natural world which I like to think of as my connection and communication to my God.
During this time of lockdown and isolation there are a few things that I (as a desperately outdoorsy person) do to maintain my link to the big world outside my little apartment. So what do I do? I plan. Simple enough. Knowing this isn’t going to last forever I plan for how I want my life to look afterwards. I’m building online courses about wildlife gardening and ecological skills. This means I sit and spend time drawing garden designs and plans, reading about which flowers I want to plant this year and hone my education to support the explosion of energy and excitement I’ll have when we get free. There are also many good live-streams you can find online of natural areas where you can watch for wildlife and enjoy the sounds of birds. So do not lose hope or the love for nature. If you have a garden or can see green from your window, survey the birds, watch for wildlife moving back into our urban areas now humans are keeping a low profile. Also keep indoor plants; grow some seeds on the kitchen window sill! They bring me so much joy!
Thanks to Andrew (@Ecobarrett) for being in the spotlight for the Wild Christian ‘Nature and Health’ email.
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