The landscape in Cornwall is scarred: spoil heaps from a millennia of mining casting long shadows across the fields. Artificial hills with terraced slopes, their original blackness softened now by green as nature reclaims her own. Quarries and open cast mines scour great holes in the ground, and in one of these lies the Eden Project, visionary retreat and haven for a bio diverse collection and interpretation centre.
Eden is magical, it’s vision broad, it’s setting dramatic. The modernist biomes, giant greenhouse habitats, squat in the bottom of the former quarry like futuristic beetles. You can spend a day walking from tundra to vineyard, heathland to desert, experiencing the sights, sounds and smells to match.
I’m here today for a concert, one of the regular events hosted in this inspirational space, before taking the long, long train ride into London crack of dawn tomorrow when I rejoin the world.
The contrast gives it power: it’s a place divorced from reality, a snapshot of nature in a goldfish bowl with a self determined conservation message and ethic.
I admire the vision and effort required to establish it and the beauty of it’s execution.
Tomorrow, when I return to the urban sprawl, I’ll carry part of the beauty with me, rejuvenated by nature.
We need time to retreat, to reflect, to change, to learn.