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Volunteering – a great way to ‘stay green’ in more ways than one! c. Tracy Lambert/Scottish Wildlife Trust

As we head towards the end of COP26, and our COP26-themed blogs, this poem, a favourite of mine, came to mind:

Lore, by R.S Thomas

Job Davies, eighty-five
Winters old, and still alive
After the slow poison
And treachery of the seasons.

Miserable? Kick my a-se!
It needs more than the rain’s hearse,
Wind-drawn, to pull me off
The great perch of my laugh.

What’s living but courage?
Paunch full of hot porridge,
Nerves strengthened with tea,
Peat-black, dawn found me

Mowing where the grass grew,
bearded with golden dew.
Rhythm of the long scythe
Kept this tall frame lithe.

What to do? Stay green.
Never mind the machine,
whose fuel is human souls.
Live large, man, and dream small.

‘What’s living but courage?’ ‘Doing’ requires courage. It means taking responsibility for what’s going on in the world and making an impact through your own actions.  But it also makes us feel better. If you put time and effort into doing something, you tend to value it much more than if you are handed something on a plate. Or watch it on a screen. Or read about it in a newspaper.

Strangely enough the need to start ‘doing’ seems to be a bit of a theme at the moment. Many of the activists demonstrating at COP26 are asking for world leaders and governments to stop talking, and start taking action. Cumbernauld Living Landscape is very proud of the amount of ‘doing’ we have delivered for the town so far – all with the help of local people and organisations. If you’ve felt inspired to take action after reading our blogs over the last two weeks, do let us know – whether it’s writing to your MSP or Councillor, not buying peat, volunteering to help us with scything the meadows around the town – whatever! We guarantee you will, like Job Davies, feel better for living large and dreaming small!


Sue Walker