With these pair for parents it was pretty inevitable really. Eventually I would come out of the closet as a bit of a birdwatcher. It started last month when I went away with some friends from uni, people I propped the student union bar up with, did Amsterdam and rocked Glastonbury with. But, this year we hired a country cottage, chilled out, ate well, dodged hangovers and went walking, a sign of the times, but one I quite like.
The first thing we saw as we left the cottage was a buzzard being mobbed my some crows. One of my freinds complained she had forgotten her bins, on hearing this I felt a huge sense of relief. ‘At last,’ I thought, ‘I’m not the only 34 year old with a pair of binoculars’. I’m not obsessive or even that knowledgeable, but having had parents who know a lot about birds and nature I have picked up lots by osmosis.
I have fond memories of sitting in hides with my Dad as a kid, and of a trip I made to Norfolk with my parents when L was a baby. I bought the binoculars there, because we were seeing barn owls daily and I felt mean grabbing Mum and Dads. I could watch birds of prey for hours, barn owls are amazing. I remember being mesmerised watching eagles circling while on honeymoon in Canada.
So the bins came out good and proper on Friday, I decided that was the best way to mark the anniversary of mum’s death. Me and Mr G opted out of playgroup and suburbia for countryside, birdwatching and mud. It was a sad day, but doing that made me happier than I could ever have imagined. A helpful old man in the hide pointed out nesting herons and skylarks to me while G munched on a banana.
When I came back I read Minty’s wonderful post The Great God Debate over at Waterbirth please, and it made me realise that in place of religion my parents gave me an awesome sense of belonging through being amongst nature. Makes sense that I’m happiest when in it.
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