I spent part of my childhood living on the west coast of Ireland. A breath-taking view greeted me each morning. Ahead of me were rolling green fields down to a bay with a mountain on the other side, to the right and behind me a mountain range with forests felt within touching distance, and to the left was the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
This sense of being embedded in nature has never fully left me as I spent the next 35 years living in cities, although like most of us in the world today, at times I have felt detached from nature. This detachment is partly the reason why we are now experiencing such devastating climate and ecological destruction to our planet. Animals, birds, plants, insects and all living things are being destroyed at an unprecedented rate by human activity. These ecosystems, which gave rise to and sustained humanity over billions of years, are being destroyed by us but in doing so we are also destroying ourselves. In order to have a better relationship with nature, indeed in order to save nature and ourselves, nature must again, as our ancient ancestors instinctively knew, become our teacher, our university, our therapy, our life.
For some people having therapy in an office can feel claustrophobic and they prefer to talk through their problems as they walk in nature. We would usually have a few sessions indoors before we venture out. We may not have mountains and sea in Chorlton but we do have the river Mersey and hundreds of acres of woodland and meadows all a few minutes from my office!