Kitty Blackadder

A Scottish blog about making art, too much eyeshadow and becoming a grown up.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Walking in Sunshine

Down at my mum's recently, and, causing boundless joy to her I'm sure, I insisted we go a walk along the river as soon as I arrived seeing as how the sun was out and all. I mean sure, it was only about 8c, but you can't tell that from the photos! I feel like I keep going on these 'Spring is here' walks, and even though at the time I can feel the sun shining down on me and hear the birds chirping away, looking back at the photos I'm suddenly so aware of bare trees and cold light.

It's amazing though, the difference between walking in a designated nature area - like a park - in the middle of the city, versus walking out in the country. For a start, as you can see, the sun is out in these pictures - if this was Glasgow the path would be rammed with people wielding selfie sticks and poorly managed, hyped up children and dogs. If this was Glasgow it would still feel like a city centre, just that everyone had simultaneously moved from Buchanan Street to the local park - nobody would make eye contact, there would be litter and there would be jostling lanes of pedestrian traffic that leave me feeling constantly nervous and apologising to everyone as I seem doomed to do that awkward dance-y thing with everyone that comes towards me . People in cities go to parks on sunny days in an almost drone like state and behave as though they are filling some kind of obligation or rule, rather than actually enjoying the experience. Generally speaking they march through without actually stopping to notice anything; to look around, or to stop and take some deep breaths, they find a path, they plod along it and then, at the first possible sign of a grassy area, they lie down. 

They sit or lie all around the grass but seem to just do as they would do anywhere else; checking Twitter, taking some selfies, shouting at their kids (hey, it's not like anyone comes outside the city centre for peace and quiet or anything...) - it's almost as if they deeply wish they were in a Costa right now, but, darn it, the sun is out so they must fulfill their outdoor duties.

When I walk about in Glasgow and see everyone whizzing the children as quickly as possible through the dreaded nature, and towards some designated, constructed play area and a cafe that makes a decent skinny latte, I just can't help but stop in wonderment. Sunshine, especially in Spring is such an exciting time - whether you live rurally or in an urban setting, the world is coming back to life all around us. So few people I see seem to actually stop and take note of this, seem to actually have any interest in the changes and new beginnings bursting into life everywhere - unless something makes a particularly good selfie back drop. And I can accept that not everyone cares about wildlife and nature the way I do, I really get that (it would be a weird world if they did), but at the same point, if people stop caring about it altogether, if people would rather visit a Starbucks than the park, if children living in the city aren't raised with an appreciation for urban nature - then in the long term, what will happen to the parks and to the wild areas? What will happen to the creatures and plants who call them home? And, selfishly, what about all the many people in cities who're like me who would still rather sit on the grass eating tupperwared sandwiches and spending hours hunting for tadpoles - where will we go?

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