Never one to pass up a challenge, I volunteered (and by default so did my husband, Fraser!), to represent PLANT at a climate change event on the West Sands, St Andrews, on a day of global climate action. The event was to mirror the hugely successful, Line in the Sand, which was held at the same time last year. On that occasion, hundreds of folk of all ages gathered to form a human chain, facing the sea. It was a creative response to the climate emergency which it brought together politicians, families, students and school children in one collective community of concern.
As we all know, sadly, much has happened since and so the organisers had to be mindful of the gesture they could make this year and they responded with the plan to section off the shore and have interested organisations draw their message on the sand. Sounded simple enough. What could go wrong?
Armed with a rake, a hoe and a stick we braved a blustery day on the West Sands. Our plan had been to copy the PLANT logo and write the words: Tayport growing hope. Our first blooper came when Fraser missed out the ‘y’ in Tayport. Fortunately, sand is malleable stuff and we were able to rub it out and start again! Scale was a wee bit of a problem too. Once we finished the lettering and the leaves of the logo, we still had acres of sand to cover. A very child-like daisy and sun were improvised. To any artists out there – please be forgiving!
Compared to last year’s jolly, friendly affair, this year’s event was much more sombre but not, I felt any less effective. The line of shoes, set out every 2 metres, was a powerful symbol of both Covid-19 and the climate emergency. I was moved by the visual representation of all that is lost. The occasion acted as a reminder that there are still individuals and local groups out there, focussing on climate change and the health of the planet. The connections and commitment are needed perhaps more urgently than ever.
And as we stood back to admire our masterpiece a couple of dogs, chasing a ball, ran right through the middle of it! C’est la vie!
Here is an article from one of the organisers of the Line in the sand event and the ideas behind it: