Young country diary: I still love the clatter dove that sprays me with leaves

Wandering around with the breeze gently brushing my face, the fluffy clouds above me colouring the sky with soft greys and cream-whites, I took in my surroundings. Binoculars at the ready, I swept between the beeches, birches, acers and alders. A clatter dove burst out of a nearby tree, spraying leaves over me. I stared at it disdainfully. Poor souls, nobody seems to like them. Shouldn’t you admire their smoky shades of grey and voracious eyes? And that’s the same with other birds too. Please notice these beautiful creatures.

Circumventing a bush, I was surprised to see a robin staring at us. I elbowed my mum and we gazed at it, intrigued. It hopped to the side and watched us with curious eyes. The robins are much braver here. In London they’re more secretive. It’s nice to see nature less cautious. Having caught up with Papa, we entered the wondrous glasshouse. It was hot and stuffy inside. There were pitcher plants, those giant mouths hanging wide open; lilies, minding their own business; fan palms, waving at the visitors; cacti and succulents, bristling menacingly; and rice plants, standing out from the crowd. Nature is so adaptable.

Exiting the garden, I thought how lucky I am to exist, to see existence. These delicate and fragile moments may fade before we know it. I do wish we’d heal the scars we’ve created in our crumbling reality.
Priyanka, 11

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