July 29, 2022

How Do External Factors Influence Our Connection To Nature?

Rachel Coburn

On Arran, Alone, In Wet Summer, 2022

My friends’ ferry to Arran was cancelled and I found myself with 5 hours alone on the island, an area rich with wildlife. I decided to hire a bike and headed out with binoculars, but Mother Nature had other plans – the rain was relentless. Maybe it’s pathetic fallacy, but adding a downpour into a solitary experience in nature made me feel deeply introspective, and in lieu of getting my headphones wet listening to music I instead shaped words in my head to quantify my feelings. As I looked out to sea, and observed the waterbirds, I found myself more connected to the environment than ever, in a way that made me feel both vast and small in tandem, acknowledging the power of the natural world and the fragility of the creatures who inhabit it, myself included. I sheltered in trees by the shore, soaked. The birds did too. I wondered if that connectedness would have manifested at all in different circumstances – in the sun, with friends; the day I had originally envisioned. I’m glad things panned out the way they did. It was very special.