Springwatch keeps us going

© Sarah Bourne
Published by Sarah Bourne on Wed, 17 Jun 2020 00:00
Sarah's blog

Is anyone else feeling withdrawal symptoms at the end of Springwatch, the nature series on BBC television?  For three glorious weeks, our weekday evenings have been enlivened by finding joy in nature, as presented by both familiar household names and newly-discovered expert naturalists.  And what a wonderful opportunity for those young presenters who were given a platform! 

We were treated to 90 seconds of mindfulness each programme as we watched films of nature on Orkney and on Dartmoor, in the Lake District and the Welsh borders – no commentary, no music, just the sheer visual beauty of nature speaking for itself.  (See https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08gqsz3 )  And we were reminded about beauty being in the small detail, as we watched the lifecycle of a moth, the travels of an earthworm and the successful fledging of treecreepers from their nest.  As the final programme came to an end, there was heaviness in my heart that this was spring over for another year, and yet I also felt boosted by the optimism which the presenters had nurtured within us.

 A couple of evenings ago, we went for a local walk which skirted round the shoulders of Brailes Hill.  The footpath led us through sweet-scented wild flowers humming with bees, and two fields below us we could hear the trilling of several skylarks which was a real treat.  The view stretched into the distance for many miles, but as I gazed my fill of far-off horizons in the west, I also noticed with some nervousness an ominous rumbling of thunder from dark clouds which were heading our way from the east.  We quickened our step, and managed to make it back to our house with only a few minutes to spare before the rain beat down on our windows and the thunder reverberated.  Then I found this poem:

Excerpt from ‘Fair Weather and Foul’ by William Morris (1834-1896)

Speak nought, move not, but listen, the sky is full of gold,

No ripple on the river, no stir in field or fold,

All gleams but nought doth glisten, but the far-off unseen sea.

Forget days past, heart broken, put all memory by!

No grief on the hill-side, no pity in the sky,

Joy that may not be spoken fills mead and flower and tree.


I’m grateful to Springwatch for reminding us to look for the beauty and serenity which nature provides.  In times of challenge and difficulty, Jesus reminds us that God cares for the birds of the air and much more besides: “they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew Chapter 26: verses 26-27) And now, above all times, we need optimism and encouragement that there is still much to look forward to.

Sarah Bourne – 17th June 2020      sarahbourne@banburystmary.org.uk


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