Silver Lining

19 Apr

This is cross-posted from The Otesha Project UK blog

How interesting it has been to catch a glimpse of what it is like without planes. The answer? Pretty darn nice – such blue sky! such quiet! Admittedly, a pain in the bum for those who are currently stranded abroad, or who can’t get home, but a good reminder that nature doesn’t work around our busy timetables. Sometimes, stuff explodes and there ain’t a thing we can do about it.

The most shocking figure I have heard so far is this statistic from a Times article – “The grounding of 63,000 flights over the past four days has saved 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, more than the annual emissions of many developing countries”. Whaaaat??? No wonder 15,000 people from developing and indigenous communities are making their way to Bolivia right now to discuss how to make governments more aware of their situation of being most impacted by climate change, whilst contributing the least to it.

Most excitingly, Carol Ann Duffy (one of my faves) was so inspired by the volcanic situation that she wrote the poem below… check out her reference to Land’s End to John O’Groats too, she must have heard about us 😉


Five miles up the hush and shush of ash,

Yet the sky is as clean as a white slate —

I could write my childhood there.

Selfish to sit in this garden, listening to the past

(A gentleman bee wooing its flower, a lawnmower)

When the grounded planes mean ruined plans,

Holidays on hold, sore absences at weddings, funerals … wingless commerce.

But Britain’s birds sing in this spring

From Inverness to Liverpool, from Creith to Cardiff,

Oxford, Londontown, Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The music’s silent summons,

That Shakespeare heard and Edward Thomas and, briefly, us.


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