Despite the protection of the mountains all around, today the wind roars in harmony with the great River Wye creating a cacophony of sound and movement that is both overwhelming and soothing; this place is a mosaic of flying golden leaves and flocks of thrushes and other birds filling the skies, and every level is transformed. It is impossible to control this natural force of beautiful nature that takes over every autumn, and I will not try: equally, nature will never try to control me.
The wildness and freedom of my natural environment is in contrast to what I see in the human world of politics and global events, where we are challenged to notice the many times when control is imposed or invited, and when we accept control without questioning or sometimes even seeing it. So much of life is imposed upon us by state and institutions that direct us in how we live: the loose laws intended for community harmony have been replaced by mandatory instruction relating to our money, our health and our privacy, and while some of it is unavoidable, other features are optional if we can see it, and, unacceptingly, make our own choice about how it is for us. Question everything in a spirit of interest and curiosity, and be different in deed and thought if you wish.
Whether it is about vaccines or climate change, cricket or religion, certain people often in a position of influence try to control information or perception in order to fulfil a certain agenda that is important to them. It may be well-meaning or otherwise, and it may be flawed by prejudice or ignorance, but it is up to us to hear their arguments and decide for ourselves what to believe. Their titles of authority are superficial: they cannot know absolutely what is truth, and history proves how wrong experts believed to be infallible can be.
When control goes too far there is a backlash, a point when the receivers say No to the roughshod assumptions of compliance and the arrogance of the self-belief. Boris Johnson has done great damage to himself, his Party and Parliament in trying to impose an unwise and unwelcome process upon his colleagues, and he will be punished for it; COP 26, superficial in its own way, will fail unless world leaders listen to the views of their citizens and encourage them to right action they can believe in; the extreme example of control, China, may discover and soon there is a breaking point to what its population will accept by way of autocracy.
For most of us, in our personal lives, meanwhile, we have still some choice and autonomy, and it is up to us to recognise it and use it wisely. What your neighbour does is not necessarily what is right for you: peer pressure can be as controlling as a new law. Life can be overwhelming, and taking the time to see and notice and object can feel too much, when saying Yes unthinkingly is so much easier, but which only serves to compound a serious societal problem.
Revolutions start with a desire to change the status quo, and sometimes a revolution is inevitable in a stale world where liberty is curtailed and the light of equality is dim. Like the autumn leaves, let go of control and find your freedom, for therein lies salvation, and your new world. Remember, ceding control means ceding precious power.