05/04/2021

2021/04/05#p1
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There is an old saying I learnt as a child that you never really hear anymore:

"Ne'er cast a clout till May is out."

It is an admonition not to discard your Winter clothes until the month of May is done — you might need them. A 'clout' is an old term for a piece of clothing. An alternative reading is that 'May is out' refers to Hawthorn, often called the May Tree, being in flower around late April to early May.

We have swung from a high of 19℃ last week to a low of -1℃ overnight but it shouldn't come as a surprise if we remember the old saying. Many don't. Folk wisdom or 'old wives tales' are largely dismissed as quaint ideas that don't stand up to modern scientific scrutiny, much of what was common knowledge is being sadly lost. In our rush to embrace technology, we are losing touch with nature, with what we knew to be true even if we couldn't really explain why.

As a species, we have evolved beyond instinct, the first time one of our ancestors used a stone tool initiated a wave of change that would forever alter our destiny — the reliance on even rudimentary technology negated our need for instinct. We adapt our environment to our desires rather than having to adapt ourselves to it.

We call it progress but is it always right?

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog