Natalie Taylor (Photograph by Christa Wynn-Williams)


Shortly after our quarantine began I started swimming in the Firth of Forth. I had never had the urge to swim in the icy waters before, but a local friend and reading Wim Hof’s words persuaded me. The water offered a mercurial solace, a unique mental and physical space, even if it was only for a few minutes a day.

Wendell Berry expresses so well what the salty water gives me.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Visions of the future

This year has been extraordinary in so many ways.

We have lost so many cherished people and beloved activities, and yet we’ve been forced to see perhaps for the first time what we have right here in our hands. Our local parks, beaches and forests, our clear skies and shining stars.

My hope would be that this will be enough for us to change our habits for the long term for the protection of the natural world.