The world changed in 2020. Gradually at first, then quickly and irreversibly, the patterns by which we once lived altered completely. Full of love and loss, solidarity and suffering, 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 – remembrances of the moments that shape a life. Collecting birds, animals, trees and people together, and surfacing memories along the way, The Heeding evolves to become a profound meditation to a time no-one will forget.
Across four seasons and through a sequence of 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 terror and pain, but beauty and wonder too.
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. It is an unforgettable book that will break your heart, but mend it also.
‘So vivid… A call out to our elemental relationship with love and nature. Beautiful.’ – Willem Dafoe
‘So powerful, and rich, and true. Every line in The Heeding feels freshly discovered, full of urgency and clarity. This is an exceptionally moving and beautiful book.’ – Nick Drake, poet and author