Why, at this time of year, is nature so obvious? Is it after the darkness and mud of winter stretching on and on or just the brilliance of new life bursting forth? This year the rain seemed like it would never stop and the ground everywhere became a bog. It was less easy to see the colours and it felt like we may never emerge.
And then we did, in a strange kind of way, we emerged into Spring at the moment of lockdown and were all required to stop, look and listen. This time may seem to be dragging on but in the whole scheme of things will be just a moment.
A beautiful moment, to observe the wonder of nature that continues whatever else is going on. Who can have missed the birds singing and the colour creeping, then bursting into the landscape. A walk takes on a new resonance in Lockdown and it’s a relief to be outside and breathing the air before scuttling back home.
So for some hopefully nature has taken on a new importance in their life as a healer and a constant to keep more centrally in their lives forever. For others though the stresses of working from home, cramped spaces and worry, may have squeezed nature into a small space too and the world of screens loomed larger than ever as a lifeline and babysitter, a calming force and an escape.
For everyone nature will be essential after lockdown to restore a sense of wellbeing and reconnect with the real world and people. Maybe as my neighbour said, ‘we don’t want to go back to the craziness of our life before lockdown and miss the garlic growing and stop noticing the birds and having time to think’. It’s time for a reset either way.
Only yesterday a child demonstrated the distance that some have come from the real world. On discussing fire-lighting and who had done it before, one child excitedly told me he had ‘done it lots and was great at it’. On further enquiry it transpired the child was referring to his skills to light fires on Fortnite, an online game that many children play for hours.
With lockdown everyone will have a story and it will be a time etched onto our memories. For some nature will loom large and hopefully a new and stronger connection will have been forged, some will have noticed nature for the first time but for those who have moved further away from the natural world this is a huge opportunity to bring nature into their transition back to the real world and find a connection to restore wellbeing to ourselves and our planet.