Life Without Cars

I admit I’m greatly enjoying the reduced traffic. I’m enjoying how much easier it is to hear the birdsong from inside my flat, and that the dawn chorus today did not have an accompaniment of vehicles. All of the roads round here are quieter, easier to cross, safer.

Yesterday I noticed that there is no longer a taste in the back on my mouth when I go out. It was so normal, that I hadn’t been aware of it before. Lorries and buses give me a brief round of it, but it is no longer intrinsic to breathing. It was an unpleasant flavour. I breathe a little more easily without it. The air is cleaner.

Of course cars have greatly advantaged people as we’ve moved towards lockdown. People in their own car are safer than those crushed into public transport. People with cars have had options of panic buying and stocking up. They also won’t need to top up shop that often. Those of us who carry our shopping home on our backs cannot buy so much in one go.  As usual, the people who have least and cause least harm are disadvantaged.

I have dreamed for a long time of seeing this kind of reduction in car use. I would not have chosen to do it this way. Those absent cars represent lives in chaos. Education disrupted and the massive stress of still not really knowing what will happen for GCSE and A Level students. Those cars belonged to self employed people who have been left totally exposed by callous political choices. They were the cars of people visiting their loved ones. We needed to learn how to do without them, but not like this.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Life Without Cars

  • bish

    I hear you and agree. With everything. Even as I’m missing Morrigan terribly.

  • garycohenblog

    I can relate to this. There is a stillness beneath the tension of the current situation. Human activities have slowed down, at least outside of the hospital and the frantic panic buying in the shops.
    While the suffering caused by this situation is not to be ignored, for me there is a welcomed sense of things slowing down in the external world that I normally only experience when I am away from unban environments. I always feel a connection to ‘nature’ anyway but the hussle and bustle of modern life contributes to many people’s sense of separation from the Earth. We are as much of the Earth as the Blossom on a Blackthorn and for me there is much peace in that awareness. We lose that peace through our ‘civilised’ activities. Slowing down seems to bring a sense of peace.
    Oh and I have never owned a car and do find that people don’t seem to recognise when they drive everywhere how unpleasant it can be walking next to busy traffic.

  • anaelleamaya

    I moved from the center because of traffic and noisy (mostly dunk young people) a few years ago. 🌺 I have noticed how that affected me very strong way. Positively. I sleep better, no more traffic of trucks, cars, drunk screaming ‘humans’ I still live near the center, but I have very lovely and quiet neighbors. My cat is enjoying watching rabbits, birds and squirrels, and just sitting beside the window. 🐈 I recommend that if it is possible. For me – it changed my life totally 💖

  • Donnalee of Kingston NY

    I love the reduced car use too, and am sure the squirrels and chipmunks and deer do too–

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