I’m writing this looking over the very grey Somerset countryside. Outside our windows the pandemic is still roaring, and so many people have had terrible times last year and indeed are still having them, right now.
But, I think we all know that there is now light on the horizon. We will have a chance to genuinely turn over a new leaf this year. Last year was without a doubt one of the strangest years my life, but within the bad things there were many good and surprising ones.
In London for instance, in the early spring, people could walk freely down the middle of the roads, the skies were clear as there were no planes, and the sound of the birdsong was apparently overwhelming. Many of us rediscovered a great love of nature, many of us found that actually if we had contact with nature we could console ourselves and help others.
Communities discovered new spirits and new priorities, and many of these things are not going to go away. The importance of the Festival this coming year is to capitalise and build on the things that 2020 taught us, to celebrate nature and community, which are both represented so wonderfully in our special corner of Somerset. We are lucky to live here, and let’s use this occasion to let everyone share in our bounty and imaginations.