Lessons from lockdown – finding valuable treasure
One thing that will never be the same after the current lockdown, is my appreciation of nature and the outdoors. I have had an interest in wildlife and nature for a while, especially as my photography skills have grown. But, a bit like work, it has been something that I ‘go to’. So, we travelled across the Atlantic to see sloths in Costa Rica or to the Red Sea to experience Picasso fish. What lockdown has done in unlock, so to speak, the power of the outdoors closer to home – or even at home.
For weeks we kept to our permitted single and local walk a day. We are very lucky to live just a few minutes from Crosby Beach and Marina. Wherever you are, at this time of yea, there is the stunning, background music of the skylarks. You don’t see them until you disturb them, and they leap from the ground. But the sound is everywhere. It is a constant and beautiful accompaniment. And this is how they look on those occasions that you see them –
One lasting effect of a daily walk is that you become friends with the regular visitors. It was so exciting when a pair of black swans turned up and stayed for a week or so. I would look out for them and took bits of food. I even missed then when they left. When they came back last week it felt like a moment from Lassie come home! Sad but true.
All of this has been on my doorstep for over 30 years. But it has taken lockdown to make me see it. Oh, I have ‘seen it’ but not properly! Even the good old mute swans and gulls are somehow different –
Once we were allowed to venture further afield, we did the 5-minute drive (!) to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Rimrose Valley. I have never even been there before last week. What an explosion of life –
And what calm serenity –
Even our back garden has produced moments of wonder
The enforced experience of nature can be life changing. Lucy Jones, writing in the Guardian last week said –
“Instead of becoming bored, as I imagined I might, I’ve found that my local natural areas feel like new destinations each day, even by the hour, for nature is in constant flux… now, many of us are spending more time in the natural world than ever before, and our environments may be as new and undiscovered as a holiday destination on the other side of the world.”
I have spent most of the last 40 years travelling to work, working, and then travelling home from work. I would count the days to when I would go somewhere else. Three years ago I began to work from home 2 or 3 days a week and began to see something of what was close to home. But the last 2 months have changed everything.
I am lucky have all of this so close to home – even it if was barely noticed for much of the time. Others do not have the same opportunities.
Lucy Jones writes –
“The evidence that contact with nature – even a view out of a window – can enhance healing continues to grow. Nature might even be a balm for those dealing with loss and loneliness.”
Wherever we are, we can find some doorway to the life that is all around us.
There is a lot of talk around how the world will be different when we get back to ‘normal’. It will be a new normal. If that becomes a place where we can appreciate what has always been around us then that will be a better place for us, for those around us and ultimately for the planet itself.
And it helps us to value things differently. Most of us lives lives in which, to some degree our value is measured against what we do. My black swans became valuable, not because of anything they did, but because of who they were. Get it?
“People where you live, the little prince said, grow five thousand roses in one garden… Yet they don’t find what they’re looking for… And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose.” The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint Exupery)