Nature's Path

Christine Law

© Copyright 2021 by Christine Law

Photo by Sue Thomas on Unsplash
                                Photo by Sue Thomas on Unsplash

My early childhood memories come from the age of seven. When the family decided to up sticks moving from Dudley an industrial Black country town to Kingswinford. Kingswinford, a small village on the outskirts of the towns, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge and Dudley. It meant that you had the best of both. Rural and town life style. Legend had it that Kingswinford got its name from centuries ago, when pigs were driven through the village with a stick. Today Kingswinford has become a small town.

Grandfathers Garage business at Tipton, selling car accessories and sports products had become prosperous over the years so grandfather could afford to buy a house for my parents, himself and grandmother, in Kingswinford built on a small estate. Surrounded by woods. It was a delight as a small child to listen to the birds singing a welcome song in the trees outside my bedroom window early mornings.

The love of nature and its natural habitat, being there to explore on my doorstep. Became more interesting than my picture books and dolls. To walk through woodland behind the houses, watching red squirrels perform with acorn nuts high in the tree tops, with many a clear sky become paradise. Has Learnt new experiences about life and nature.

One day I saw a white egg lying in the lush green grass by the oak trees. It wasnít a birdís egg, in size it looked like an egg you would by in the supermarket. Slightly smaller in size, white in colour I decided to leave it be. Later to find out that the egg belonged to a grass snake who had abandoned it to move on elsewhere. Another time a neighbour of grandfathers Mrs Jones had worked herself up into a state of hysterics, finding a grass snake crawling around her garage door. Grandfather just picked up the snake with a garden fork placing it back in its natural habitat the woods. The snake was probably more afraid than Mrs Jones.

Life progressed unfortunately the builders decided to build more houses so that the woods vanished from view. With this so did the wild life, although the birds still sang their sweet song. I found I could still sit on the odd upturned log watching and waiting learning to accept change, my wonderful woodland playground going. I made friends with other children from the other houses, on the estate. We would collect horse chestnuts from one of the trees left on the estate. Watch white cabbage butterflies flutter by. There were many sunny days spent black berry picking to make homemade jam. Horse rides at a local farm.
I still remember the odd ladybird settling on my finger with its red coat and black spots. Glistening spider webs, black oily bugs you would find in what open grassland there was left. That you would explore with a stick at a place called Dawley Brook. Father and Mother would take a drive out into the country weekends. A few miles away from where we lived quite often in the country lanes at night rabbits would dart into the road to sit in the glare of the car head lights before continuing their journey back to their burrows. If you were lucky you would see a badger with her cubs. The odd fox would also slink by. Father always drove slowly in the lanes rather than hit any of these creatures of the wild. An owl could also be heard hooting.

Today in schools there are nature field trips for youngsters from the towns, to explore and learn about nature. Has a child growing up in the nineteen sixties era, it was interesting to explore this at my own pace? To remember, these experiences some sixty years later after writing a story about a fox. While working in Twickenham South London some years back as a carer, I saw a lobster in a traditional wet fish shop, it was alive in a container on show for all to see. It was a sight with its pink skin and claws. An experience to watch at close range and of course for the shop to sell. Lobster being a luxury boiled and served up in most top restaurants.

I have let my thoughts and feelings get the better of me? Reliving my childhood memories of wild life and a different life style. So much has changed there is still the odd Zoo, to view animals. Although different from their natural habitat, they are loved by the public and cared for.

We need open spaces for nature to survive and prosper. Open markets have gone where people could meet and talk. A lot of open markets were, a pleasure to walk around, now they have become smaller concrete jungles. This creates a narrower view of life. We lose out on seeing wild life. At present where live in the West Midlands often I watch the odd grey squirrel in the trees. Red squirrels arenít seen that often. You donít hear talk of snakes, although the odd fox may venture out into suburbia to search through the odd dustbin. A cry for natural areas, nature needs to be left alone to develop at its own pace, to survive. Books can educate the mind and the internet; live experiences are still more effective and rewarding to capture.

Writing is rewarding and pleasurable particularly early mornings with the sounds of the birds and dusk when all is still. Work has appeared briefly in magazines, parts of books regarding poetry and prose. Has yet itís an enjoyable pastime. Although a member of the Authors licensing Collecting Society, I have never received more than £200 pounds for my work in royalties or any writing competition. I still hope to make progress nature is such an interesting subject to write about particularly animals talking of which I will soon be walking my neighbours Jack Russel, who loves to roll in the damp green grass? Maybe he gets the call of the wild? Even domestic pets can revert back to what their ancestors did years ago. Hence a dog who rolls in the muddy grass and chases squirrels. All a part of life and natures instinct. Time and patience understanding of all aspects of nature, needs to become a part of the learning process, not just profit in bricks and mortar.

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