Small oblivions

I know Matt Haig is an amazing writer because I told my Dad about him. I said he should read Haig’s most recent novel, The Humans. And he actually did, and he liked it, and discussed it with me, and others, and still references it from time to time. (That, dear reader, is one of the highest commendations any author could recieve; my Dad’s attention.)

I could attempt to tease apart Matt Haig’s unique way of presenting the human condition in order to convince you of his talent, but I’d prefer not to. (It turns out that I hate approaching fiction for that clinical analysis associated with studying Literature.) Just go and read all of his work, follow him on Twitter, appreciate his work against mental health stigma and his encouragement of peanut butter sandwich eating. The guy is fab, so enough Haig fangirling . . . for now, at least.

What I actually want to talk about was this tweet that he posted earlier this evening:

My first thought in response to that was: that’s my response to being present in nature.

Suddenly all those daily worries — getting a job interview, emailing the guy back, paying the rent on time, doing well at university, remembering to pick up milk, buying birthday presents, whether that person is annoyed because they put a full stop in their text and no smiley faces or kisses ohhh no oh my god they 100% actually hate me — disappear when I experience beauty.

When I picture my place of small oblivion, I see the fields at home.

The sunset has gone. The last tints of colour settle into the night, illuminating sparse cloud formations. The air is still, yet somehow managing to suspend the scent of damp grass in which the crickets chant. The bubbling of water running over clay-heavy soil, though barely audible, is exquisitely underpinned by the start of the owls’ crooning and pierced with a peeping from a bat’s lowest social calls. The moon perches low, watching over all of this with a proud, steady gaze as if to say — I know. Isn’t it beautiful?


I don’t necessarily think beauty annihilates all thought, however. Incessent thought, perhaps. At least for me. Sometimes I’ll see something beautiful and think, wow. Or, I must write this down. Or, I’ve got to tell _________ about this. All those little niggling thoughts, the Chatterbox in your mind as Susan Jeffers puts it, go away for a while.

I see it a little as reverting back to a child-like sense of wonder (and I’m not referring to the times when a kid is so amazed that it makes strange noises of excitement and its arms and legs go in weird directions really quickly). I suspect that I’m not alone in this, and that it may be one of the driving forces behind the general push to get children outside.

Ultimately, we know these small oblivions are good for us. Research has proven we feel better after being out in a green space, we live healthier lives nearer to nature. The word peaceful is associated with coastal, mountainous, rural scenes — if you don’t know what I mean, look on your computer’s bank of desktop images. You see the one with a big sand dune or an overly symmetrical mountain range or a single flower positioned over an out-of-focus background? Yep, all nature.


So I’m not really sure what the point of this waffling was tonight. I just knew that a tweet struck a chord with me that had something to do with nature and therefore I was allowed to publish said waffling here.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading! Please tweet me any thoughts @BeccaLaBee or add comments with the lil button there on the right.

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