Lockdown put an end to many of the plans I had lined up for 2020. Like everyone else I had to endure the cancellation of numerous projects: workshops, theatre events, tutoring … the list goes on and on and I won’t bore you with it here!
On the plus side, nature has became my daily solace. Human life has slowed down and wildlife has definitely taken advantage of that fact. There are more birds in our garden than ever before including greater spotted woodpeckers, reed buntings, red polls, wood pigeons and collar doves, all alongside our regular garden visitors. Simply looking out of our kitchen window helps take my mind off things and brings me temporary joy.
I’ve also been taking regular walks out onto our local moor and been lucky enough to catch frequent sightings of wild hare and deer, hear the skyarks, meadow pipits and curlew. And in the woods, at dusk, there are the cuckoos and tawny owls to be heard.
With the terrible storms in February and early March, then the awful coronavirus pandemic, and now the very real and rightful anger of Black Lives Matter, nature has helped me keep my sense of perspective. As I walk out into the landscape each day, the words of Van Morrison often come to mind and can, I think, be applied to the effect the natural world is having on me during these stressful times: “Come take away my sadness, come fill my heart with gladness.” Even if this is only for a short while.
I hope you too can find a green space in which nature will bring you some solace to help you through these difficult times.