A Focus On Nature

Advent Calendar

Gifts For The Soul – Amy Brocklehurst

Welcome to our 2015 Advent Calendar series (#AFONAdvent)! For each day in the lead-up to Christmas, we have a post from an A Focus On Nature member on this year’s Advent theme: “The Gift of Giving”. We hope that you enjoy the series and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I consider myself lucky, because I believe that I have two mothers that have always been there for me: my birth mother, and my earth mother. We have a dedicated Mother’s Day for the former, but how often do we stop to thank mother Nature for all she gives to us? Advent and Christmas are a time to be grateful for those we have around us, a time for giving and being thankful for what we receive, so what better chance to show Nature some gratitude.

My whole life, Nature has been by my side. She is always there, the steady guiding hand, reassuring and comforting in her rhythms of daylight and seasons, bringing stability to life in the form of change. Nothing sways her; she faces every battle with gritted teeth, and every child of hers, every tiny baby bird in its nest and every weathered tree swaying in the storms fights every fight without hesitation, and takes on every moment as if it were its last. Nature has taught me to face every challenge and let nothing get in the way of where I want to be, because as she gives she too can take away – life is too short to waste. And through the hardest of times where no human words could convince me that it was worth it to carry on, Nature gave me happiness. Her beauty shone, and she nudged her little gems of kingfishers and dewy spiders’ webs my way as a focus for my eyes, my heart, and indeed my camera to draw me out of the darkness. Her presence all around reminded me when I felt lost that I was always part of something bigger, that I did indeed belong here; an important part in the tangle of life’s web.

But that ‘something bigger’ is being destroyed by us.  Humanity is losing its connection with its earth mother and one by one we are losing our wild siblings. We may look different to the wildlife around us but we are all in this boat together, and at the moment we are shooting a hole in the bottom of our own ark. My motto in life is ‘true gold is green’, for nothing is more precious -indeed imperative to our own survival -than Nature. How long before we stop seeing the earth as a commodity and rather as our own lifeline? Something has to change, and I have made it my mission to give back to my earth mother. She has given me my passion and purpose, and even more importantly my hope, so I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that the same hope will be there for future generations. I’m currently in training to become a nature reserve warden, to look after our wild spaces and help Nature to thrive around us. I am trying to give back to the earth, working hands-on to save our precious wild habitats and doing what I can to educate others. I want to spread my love of our environment in the hope that more people will appreciate its incomparable beauty and see its true worth.

After all, can you imagine Christmas without robins and a Christmas tree? Maybe we should all take a moment this year to thank our earth mother, because she gives us the greatest gifts of all, and use the new year to take the first step into giving something back in return.

Amy Brocklehurst is a Practical Conservation trainee with Dorset Wildlife Trust, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. She writes about her work in her blog to share the joy of Nature and raise awareness of what goes on behind the scenes to protect it, and loves nothing more than to capture the beauty of the wild through photography.