Updated: Mar 21, 2020
I am self –isolating and privileged to live in a beautiful, quiet place. For too long I’ve lived a fragmented life, working away, constantly tired, too much to do when I’m briefly at home. I’ve afforded myself little time to appreciate what’s under my nose.
This morning, in my garden, the birds sing and dart around the feeders, the squirrel crouches underneath, sitting on his haunches munching seeds. Behind our house is an area of woodland which has re-wilded; it is home to many species of wildlife: birds (some endangered), badgers, foxes and newts. I’m sitting in my bedroom watching two magpies skittering and muttering through the trees. Behind them the sky is blue with white clouds. The garden is wonderful at this time of year, full of snowdrops, hellebores, buds and promise. A pheasant wanders by, followed by two of her young. Our neighbours’ cats, soft and predatory, circle and sniff. Not one plane has flown over for hours, the magnificent blue sunlit canvas a backdrop only to the natural world.
It’s well known that spending time in nature can be deeply healing.
It’s hard not to contrast the easy co-existence of the natural world with the chaos of humanity. I’m not sentimental, I know that animals are not all gentle vegetarians, but no species other than human beings has ever waged war on another for reasons of ideology. Nature is and should be essentially interwoven and as human creatures, surely that is somewhere deep in our consciousness. So how and when did we lose our sense of connection?
The Coronavirus crisis has immediately demonstrated how much we need each other, especially those we have rated so poorly such as health workers, carers, shop workers and delivery drivers, they are quite literally essential to life. They deserve our immense support and gratitude and the state must reward them. When you pare everything back we need so little-just food, shelter, warmth and love. The war of ideas and mistrust we have waged seems so irrelevant now and must be put aside. In its place we must all play a part in building a more compassionate, peaceful, environmentally friendly world.
All I can give at the moment is my writing, my compassion for humanity and my support for people who feel isolated and disconnected. I will be here in the virtual world and where I can offer practical support I’ll do that too.
This crisis, like nothing before, truly affects all of humanity. It has had and will continue to have a profound effect on a world that has become insular and intolerant of difference. But power, wealth and possessions no longer matter. Nature is teaching us that we are all one soul.
Stay safe and well,