Geology for Global Development

Guest Blog: Autumn Reflections

Cecilia Reed (aka Lady Rock) is a volcano and geology enthusiast, film-maker and communicator based in London, UK. She has previously published a really interesting series of videos relating to volcanic activity, culture and the local environment in Central America. Cecilia has kindly allowed us to republish this post from her Tumblr site, introducing her latest video series and reflecting on the nature of geology around us. 

AutumnAs autumn truly sets in, the downpour of gold and orange leaves drift along with the wind and the irregular cold showers encourage us to stay indoors, dry and safe. In my case, with a warming cup of tea and slice of cake! One cannot deny that this season is the perfect time for reflection. Reflection on the past and things that have been. Reflection on the here and now. Reflection on the things that could be.

Taking a leaf out of Beatrix Potter’s many colourful children’s’ storybooks, I find myself in the Lake District, in the North of England – doing exactly this.  What better place to reflect than hiking along a fine ridge path surrounded by ancient, rugged, awe inspiring mountains, babbling brooks and thunderous grey clouds. I find it wondrous to think that the land underneath my feet was once a breadth of impressive volcanic activity; suffocating these lands with aggression, power and energy. Calmed over the course of time by the gentle persuasion yet strength of water and ice tirelessly reshaping this landscape. I wonder how it might look in the future and am grateful to the wonderful work of geologists like Hutton and Lyell who have given us the grounding to understand and better predict our future.

Knowing that the present is the key to the past, and therefore potentially the future; I choose to reflect on my now. My current present is living in London City. A very different scape to the one I have chosen to reside in for the Half Term holiday season. Yet, one that also has its own vibrant geological stories. A hedonistic mix of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks from all around the globe have inspired me to create my next video web series, “Secrets of London”. The thousands of city workers who trudge through the city streets, often in their own thoughts, whether it be on the past, present or future often have no idea that they are walking past the belly of a volcano, or that they’re whatsapping through a phone that wouldn’t work without certain core minerals. A vital connection with mother Earth has sadly been lost and forgotten.

After attending this year’s Geology for Global Development’s annual conference, I felt inspired to write this piece. It was stimulating to see so many women and men who clearly understand very well their own connection with our earthy planet; sharing their current work in helping to develop a more sustainable future for our society and world. It left me wondering what others can begin to do, who maybe don’t have any prior geological knowledge, to help produce the same sustainable goals. A quote from the Dao de Jing sprang to mind. ‘Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.’ The answer is in front of us everyday. It’s in the very paths we walk along and the buildings that surround us. It’s in the water we drink and wash in as well as the very food that nourishes our bodies. Only by understanding and appreciating what we have in the present, can we possibly move forward and progress in life. To me, Geology is like Pylades, the Ancient Greek silent friend – always there, always strong, ready to teach us on the journey of life when we are open, willing and ready.

So, whilst I develop this future series by reflecting on what surrounds me in the here and now, I ask you to reflect too. What do you have in the present that may have been temporarily forgotten and needs a little appreciation?

You can follow Cecilia’s work on her Tumblr site. If you’d like to learn more or contribute to Cecilia’s video series “Secrets of London” then please do get in contact through our website and we’ll be sure to pass on the message. 

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This guest post was contributed by a scientist, student or a professional in the Earth, planetary or space sciences. The EGU blogs welcome guest contributions, so if you've got a great idea for a post or fancy trying your hand at science communication, please contact the blog editor or the EGU Communications Officer to pitch your idea.