What a lot seems to have happened since our last blog, before Easter.
We saw the sadness of the Royal family at the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. As for so many people in the last year, the funeral had to be a much smaller occasion, and although I think Prince Philip’s life was celebrated with quiet and very appropriate dignity, few people cannot have helped but feel great sympathy for the Queen. It does not matter who you are, losing a beloved family member is traumatic and devastating, however long and well the life lived and there have been too many losses over the past year. Let’s hope that lessons have been learned, especially about the importance of families being able to be with the dying – which is a comfort to both those who are leaving us and those left behind.
At the sametime, Spring seems to have arrived, at least during the bright, sunny days – although the frosty nights have wreaked havoc with beautiful camellias and magnolias just in bloom.
The hedgerows are bright with white blossom, and birds are nesting. Yesterday, I watched three very young squirrels playing chase around the helter-skelter of an oak tree trunk, a game so joyous that I actually laughed out loud.
We are now enjoying more freedoms, with non-essential shops opening up (and yes, I was lucky enough to get a haircut on 12th April!) and there is a gradual sense of choices being available. We need to be careful, of course, and each of us must ease our way back into what feels safe and comfortable, but there is no doubt that being outside in the fresh air is wonderfully energising.
Although many are celebrating the steps forward, there are quite large numbers of people who still have to remain isolated for health reasons, or who are feeling anxious about going out and about again. I have noticed that there is an increase in traffic on the roads, but that people are hesitating at junctions, not quite sure, it seems, about who has right of way, and that feels the same for those venturing out on foot. Many of us are feeling wary, taking avoiding action so as not to literally cross paths with some of the other pedestrians about, and it will take a long time for us to regain confidence, probably not until we are more sure about the future.
Be gentle with yourself and others – we are all feeling our way back into the wider world. For every apparently confident person out there, there is another who is anxious, and we all need to be generous and not to judge.
The photos with the blog this week show a wonderfully misty morning on my walk yesterday, with the sun starting to shine through the trees behind the mist – and that is how it feels at the moment. Later in the day, there was bright sunshine, the chilly wind had dropped after a week or so, and it really felt quite warm away from the shade. It seemed to mirror what we hope for ahead – so let’s stay positive, be reassured by what Nature is demonstrating, and be optimistic that there is so much good stuff to come.