The world changed in 2020. Gradually at first, then quickly and irreversibly, the patterns by which we once lived altered completely. The Heeding paints a picture of a year caught in the grip of history, yet filled with revelatory perspectives close at hand: a sparrowhawk hunting in a back street; the moon over a town with a loved-one’s hand held tight; butterflies massing in a high-summer yard – the everyday wonders and memories that shape a life and help us recall our own. Across four seasons and thirty-five luminous poems and illustrations, Rob Cowen and Nick Hayes lead us on a journey that takes its markers and signs from nature and a world filled with fear and pain but beauty and wonder too.
Collecting birds, animals, trees and people together, The Heeding is a profound meditation to a time no-one will forget. At its heart, this is a book that helps us look again, to heed: to be attentive to this world we share and this history we’re living through, to be aware of how valuable and fragile we are, to grieve what’s lost and to hope for a better and brighter tomorrow.
‘Dazzling, moving… A book that will touch many, and be given often: here, take this, you must read this.’ ROBERT MACFARLANE
‘So vivid…A call out to our elemental relationship with love and nature. Beautiful.’ WILLEM DAFOE
‘The Heeding speaks to us all, guiding us through the emotional journey the nation has gone through during the past year, with humour, pathos and forensically sharp portrayals of people and nature at a time like no other.’ Stephen Moss, author of The Robin
‘Poignant and exquisite’ Lucy Jones, author of Losing Eden
‘Vivid, beating, aching. The Heeding feels like both a eulogy and a defiant, wild challenge to go on. I loved it.’ Josie George, author of A Still Life
‘It is rare to find a writer that is able to tease apart the threads that make up the fragile fabric of our loves, hopes and despairs with such care and humility. An exceptionally good book for an exceptionally bad time.’ Matt Gaw, author of Under the Stars