I was lucky enough to find myself at Stover Country Park yesterday with my young children, pictured below.
This beautiful place, near Newton Abbot in Devon, hosts the Ted Hughes Poetry Trail. In the visitor centre I was reminded of Ted's great love of nature and conservation, and was moved by his insight:
"As we enter a new century, there is some acknowledgement that through industrialisation, urbanisation and materialism, we have become more removed from the natural world than it is safe or healthy to be."
Since he wrote those words, unprecedented 'progress' has come to us via the Internet, and presumably his concerns would have intensified, as life online moves us even further away from nature.
My concern is that the progress of the web has moved us away, not only from nature as Hughes suggested, but it is now moving us away from our human nature.
I dearly hope, and actually feel confident, that we can and will find a way to re-humanise the Internet. As we proceed, our virtual lives will ultimately support and energise, not undermine, our real, natural lives.
Balance will return. It's never far away.