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  • Amanda Barry

Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There…

Updated: Feb 26

A friend and I were talking about the craziness of life at the weekend and she reminded me of this new take on an old saying. It felt like the perfect prescription for these times we are living in where to be ‘busy’ is a badge of honour. As if we need proof that we are wanted, useful, worthy.


But while we’re busy being busy, we risk missing all the wonderful things that connect us to nature and our lives as they are unfolding. The bird singing in a tree. The chance to connect with a friend. Getting lost in a good book. The hum of bees as they buzz from flower to flower.


In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a busy-addict in recovery. I’ve learnt that busy is a habit, like any other and that it can rule your life if you let it. And I let it for a long time. Now I am learning to distinguish between applying myself to something that needs to be done and the continual treadmill of doing, doing, doing without pause.


Connecting more with nature feels particularly important to me now. I’m worried that unless we all become awake to its incredible beauty, the utter preciousness of the wild and the animals and birds we share this planet with, we will busy ourselves into a very bleak future.

So the need to slow down and consider how we do things has never seemed more pressing. Big changes in how we manage the landscape and work with natural resources are needed. It is certainly challenging but not impossible – we have the answers but now require the will and the understanding to make it happen.


A good place to start is to learn about what is possible. I’ve recently read two books that had a profound effect on how I viewed the landscape and those that inhabit it. The first was Wilding by Isabella Tree and the second was The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young.

If you haven’t read them, I urge you to do so. I’d love to hear what you think.



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