Like many other people over the past 12 months or so many have been experiencing Covid exhaustion, trying as much not to read the daily news of more deaths, seemingly unending lockdowns, insane conspiracy theories, so much so that many have just switched off. However, amid the daily doom and gloom there comes a breath of fresh air, which takes a look at life during these lockdowns but also reminds us that there’s so much more going on than the daily headlines. The Eternal Season, by Stephen Rutt, achieves this and so much more.
In The Eternal Season, Stephen Rutt takes us, not just through his own lockdown experience during the long summer of 2020, but also observes the changes of wildlife in these new seasons of which our behaviour affects with, mostly, a negative influence.
Living the first part of the 2020 lockdown with family in Bedfordshire meant that, like the rest of us there were no long explorations, due to no travel, meaning that those of us who still ventured outdoors were confined to local areas, this not only affected the book Rutt was due to write, due to not being able to travel but also found himself looking at sites on the internet to keep in touch with the natural world while confined within the four walls. However, with the changing seasons and an ever-present climate emergency, he saw that not only migrations were changing but that some species were missing, posing the question as to what the world would be like without birdsong.
Exploring not just the natural world, but also focusing on the changing patterns of nature and the seasons for which the human species has affected over the centuries The Eternal Season highlights the changing patterns of usual summer species, including searching for birds, moths, butterflies and plants, that are among the myriad species that help define British summertime but now are often confused by changing weather patterns and climate change that have, in some cases, meant that birds are migrating to other countries at different times of the year, leaving an unnatural emptiness on the landscape.
The Eternal Season is not just Stephen Rutt’s most compelling work, but probably the most important work of his career.
- The Eternal Season by Stephen Rutt is published by Elliott and Thompson (£14.99). To order a copy go to eandtbooks.com
Founder and Editor of Pilgrim House, currently undertaking a research degree at Bangor University and working on a book on Folklore and early Welsh Christianity. Tom’s other work on music, poetry, health along other writings and images can be found at tomasstanger.com