This post is a direct result of a nicely written piece by Steve Gale - see it here http://northdownsandbeyond.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/big-skies.html . There is a very spooky link between the pair of us, although we have never, knowingly, met. We're both children of the 1950's, grew up in Hertfordshire, discovered the wonders of the natural world around the banks of Tring Reservoirs, The Grand Union Canal and the extensive woodland of Ashridge Forest (National Trust) - much later it was Dungeness, mothing, birds and a general appreciation of the creatures that share our space - a crazy parallel existence that we have both followed, to very different ends, but I digress!
Steve's appreciation, and superb narrative on the effects, of "Big Skies" set me off on a train of thought that I'd not previously explored. I've asked the question, on many occasions, who am I? I don't think I've ever attempted to understand "why am I?" Here we go again - Uncle Bill's funeral has really played with my head!
Why am I what? Why am I an angler? Why do I so enjoy being a Grand-dad? Why are Benno and I so much closer now, than during his childhood? I don't suppose I'll ever really be able to answer these imponderables - I'm Dylan and that's it! Seeing the "bigger picture" - "looking outside the box" These are a direct connection to my industrial background and the "buzz word" culture that moves the continuous improvement ethic ever onwards.
Steve's reflections on the ability of perspective - hence the big skies - to allow individuals to wallow in wonderment at the spectre of our natural world is something with which I was immediately able to align myself. I love the intimacy of the East Kent drains, but am in awe of the Scottish lochs (sorry, no pun intended!) and the humbling experience of being in such magnificent surroundings. I think it's about scale and the realisation of quite how unimportant any of us really are? It doesn't matter a toss how wealthy you are - when stood in company of a vista that has been there for billions of years - your three score and ten means very little - if anything at all? I'm sure, that in our own little worlds, we have made some sort of imprint but, when seen from another angle, we'd struggle to make a ripple in a pond!
I don't want to put a downer on anyone's journey through this mortal existence, but simply, would like to point out that we are no more important than any other life forms which have also spent time in the eco-system of our planet. This human journey can be as exciting, or boring, as any individual chooses to make it - it will be unique, that's without doubt. From my personal viewpoint, I will have done more than enough to leave my mark - good or bad. I've had a blast (and hope that it continues for a few years yet!) - have I contributed anything important? Yeah, I painted the bedroom ceiling when I got in from work!