During the Summer, there are many seagulls in Trondheim. They are everywhere, by the sea, by some lakes, and of course, in the city. When the chicks are very young, the adult seagulls can be quite aggressive and attack people walking close to where the chicks are. They can also be quite aggressive to get food. Last year, we saw a seagull snap a piece of bread from a man’s hand.
This causes a lot of irritation and today, I heard my son say “I hate seagulls”. I’m not trying to be a goody-two-shoes here, but I felt a knott in my heart when he said that. Yes, they can be aggressive during the early Summer, but if we reflect a bit, we can acknowledge that we have invaded their natural habitat, and we continue to do so. There is almost no place near the fjord without human activity, so what can they do? They have to adapt. They nest on rooftops, they eat from our waste, and now, they even snatch food out of people’s hands.
It is annoying when we have to run through the street or walk another way to get somewhere to avoid the chicks and their protective parents, but it is during a short period during the year, I think we owe them that for taking so much space.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the distance we have created between us and nature. I guess this is different from place to place, but I feel that most of us have very little knowledge of the fauna and flora that belong to the place where we live. This is a pity, because not only we miss out a lot, we also do a lot of harm that we wouldn’t do if we knew better.
I believe that people’s littering, animal abuse and harming of other living beings would stop if they were more in contact with nature. If they spent more time outdoors, observing, being curious and learning from it.
The more time I spend in nature, the more I gain respect for its processes and its natural cycles. I think that living in Norway and being so much in the forest and in nature in general has been good for me to be more mindful of what I do, what I consume and the attitude I have towards all living beings.
My kids are growing up, and the youngest and oldest are now starting to have alternative plans to our trips to the forest and by the fjord. Still, I try to push them to come at least once a week, and share with them my interest for birds, plants, trees, and mushrooms as I keep learning about and from the local nature. They sometimes roll their eyes, or want to continue walking, but I hope this will awake in them the respect for nature that I feel we all need in order to preserve what is left of it.
Whenever I go for a walk in nature, I try to remind myself to not wear headphones either. This allows me to be more present, to listen to what is going on. It creates less distance.
In addition, I can honestly say, that nothing brings more peace to my mind than a walk in the forest, a dip in the cold fjord or a skiing trip in the middle of the long, cold and dark winter. One of the most fun things I can do with my husband and sometimes my kids is to pick berries and make jam or pick mushrooms and make a delicious dinner. It makes us feel connected with our environment, and we swear that the food we make with what we pick from nature tastes much better than the one bought in the supermarked.