The memoir explores how each bird sighting is a step for the author to find her own voice, as well as a step in her family’s challenging journey. Each new bird seen is also a “moment of peace” amid the turmoil of her mother’s worsening mental health crisis. Craig is also the founder of Black2Nature, an organization that organizes camps, workshops and campaigns to make the environmental and nature conservation sectors ethnically diverse. “In my nature camps,” says the British-Bangladeshi author and activist, “I teach kids about engaging with nature, how it makes them feel, and how they can use that to become more resilient and able to overcome problems.” .
Birdgirl also explores how the conscious act of searching for birds has made Craig more determined to fight for the survival of the environment and all of us. The memoir is a logical progression from her previous book, We Have a Dream, which explored how young indigenous environmental activists are bringing about change and also explored our interdependence with nature. “We Have A Dream shows us that it is not too late to act and make a difference in rejuvenating nature, as it is waiting to be given the chance to fight back,” he says, pointing to the example of Kenya’s Lesein Mutunkei, who appears in the book. “His goals for trees are so clever and yet so simple: They show us that it’s not too late to rebuild and save ourselves from ecological disaster.”
After all, the idea of renovation and reconstruction works both ways, says Craig. “I think that while many of the young people on We Have A Dream understand that our natural environment has an amazing ability to renew, self-repair and regenerate, their message was that humans had relied on this for far too long and now we were at the point that the Earth had been pushed too far and could no longer regenerate itself.The hope that emanates from the book is not that our planet will recover if left alone, but that here is a young generation fighting for great change.
“I think that nature is really important to us as humans and that it’s essential that we remember that we are part of nature, that while nature needs us, we also need nature.”
Tree of Life
How we are nurtured by the natural environment, while also caring for it ourselves, is also explored in a recently published journal volume, with an introduction by Tilda Swinton of the late film director Derek Jarman’s Pharmacopoeia: A Dungeness. Notebook. It tells the story of the creation of his garden at Dungeness, in a barren, windswept spot near a nuclear power station. “I planted a dog rose,” she writes. “Then I found a piece of driftwood and used this, and one of the stone necklaces drilled into the wall, to stake the rose. The garden had begun. I saw it as a therapy and a pharmacopoeia.” The garden was an ever-evolving circle of stones, plants and sculptures created from collected driftwood and flotsam, grown in the harshest of conditions, and remains to this day a source of wonder for visitors.
This idea that nature has wisdom to teach us and lessons to impart also appears in The Great British Tree Biography, in which Mark Hooper explores the history and folklore of Britain. It tells stories of remarkable trees, from the Knole Oak, immortalized by Virginia Woolf in Orlando and in the video for the Beatles song Strawberry Fields Forever, to the oak on Isle Maree in Scotland that is said to deliver madness to the visitors. they offer coins. The author says that, having grown up in the countryside, the forest has always been his “happy place”. So what do these iconic trees tell us about history, life, and ourselves?
Hooper tells BBC Culture that some of the chapters in his book are about “the tree itself and what it represents, as a metaphor for the values we hold dear.” across the rocks on the shore of Loch Lomond, as a symbol of resistance as he tried to raise the spirits of his retreating army in 1306. Only 200 men crossed the loch, in a boat that could only carry three men at a time, and as they gathered on the other side of the tree, he compared his ability to survive against all odds with theirs. When Robert the Bruce finally won Scottish independence after defeating the English at Bannockburn in 1314, many of his men they wore yew twigs on their uniforms.