I sit and gaze longingly out of the window. It is February. Birds continue to flutter to our bird feeder. Robins, goldfinches, blue tits, great tits. Last year we had the pleasure of two turtle doves and a family of woodpeckers. I wonder if they will return once more this year. I hope so.
We are approaching a full year of a pandemic. A pandemic that none of us (or very few of us) could have ever imagined the full impact of. My children have spent almost eight months of the past year at home. Who would have known the impact of being at home could have had such a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing (and mine). Each day emotions ebb and flow like a free-flowing river bringing new debris from the latest storm. I am greeted with feelings of loss, despair, gratitude and wonder along with a bizarre feeling of numbness accompanied with a desire to strive forward. Never before have feelings been so constant and yet so confused.
Social restrictions are the biggest killer. We are built to connect, much like nature. Our arms reach out to others at a time of need like the branches of the tree reach for the sun. We find ourselves confined to our home when really we relish the change of the seasons and interaction of the world around us. And yet… I am thankful that we are the lucky ones, free to make our own decisions, free to decide whether or not we risk a trip to the supermarket, free to work from home and care for our children.
We are governed by those in power and yet we try to keep perspective and release judgement of others around us who may interpret the guidelines or rules differently to ourselves. This is a lesson to us all. We are free to make our own choices, however we must do so with the awareness of the impact of others. We become aware of the many different situations around us and that every single person on this planet has a different way of thinking and different perspective. I remind myself I must release the judgment of others. However, anxiety and self-doubt still creep in and remain constant.
The most important thing for us all is our mental wellbeing. We must accept that this is hard for us all and give thanks for our fortunate circumstances in a situation that feels less than fortunate. To approach each day with ease and accept that its ok to have a bad day. Its ok to just be. Its ok to take it slow and it ok to appreciate where we find ourselves in the given moment. Before too long these times will have passed and we will return to the eagerness and busyness that there was before and perhaps we will find ourselves longing for the slow mornings and quiet days again. If there is another lesson to learn, it is to appreciate the here and now, for one day when my children have grown, these days of connection, slowness and family time will be the ones I recall with happiness and contentment.
The buds are now forming on the blackthorn bushes. Spring is on its way. Time does not stop. The seasons keep on coming and with every day there is a new development. It is there for us to observe if only we stop, look, take notice and appreciate the little details of beauty all around us.
These words are spoken from the heart and inspired by my connection with nature. They are my own thoughts and therefore only speak my truth at that given time and place. If you would like to hear more, along with nature wellbeing tips and to receive weekly nature imagery to inspire your day please sign up to receive the newsletter.
Claire Victoria is a photographer and writer inspired by nature and living in South Gloucestershire with her four young boys, husband and two dogs. Her mission is to inspire others to connect with nature and feel the benefits for their health and wellbeing. She works with families and businesses and captures natural moments on camera. You can find out more here.