There are moments of insight in life that stay with you forever. Invisible to all except you, they are there, making minute adjustments to the meanings that you assign to what you see, think and learn. One such moment for me came many years ago during a marine science lecture.

As a boy M had often walked by the lake. It mesmerised him in winter when it was glassy and in summer when it mirrored the sun’s reddish rays.

American Indians, whose great heritage of how to be in touch with the Universe we moderns miss in many ways, gave it the right name: ‘Mother Earth.’ They considered themselves part and parcel of Nature around them, and took of it only what they needed to survive.

‘Sea Change’, a body of work carefully constructed over five years, is described as a visual novel. I was unfamiliar with the genre, but a little research established that it is an emerging style.

I need to begin with a confession and clear statement of intent. I’d like to write about nature not from a distance, neither as an object of abstract study – a disengaged academic or critical exercise – nor as an occasion for the recital of well-worn platitudes.

The central doctrine of Islam is al-tawhid, Unity. God is One; there is no god but God. And the Unity of God is reflected in the universe, in the unity of nature’s laws, as well as in the uniqueness of each object in nature.

There is no possibility of a solution to our ecological crisis unless a new approach is taken: an approach that sees nature, not as an ‘it’, ‘not only as merely a source of raw materials to be exploited by man, not as a material reality devoid of innate spiritual significance, but as a sacred reality to be treated as such’.