I often think to myself when out walking around the village if we really thank our lucky stars just how fortunate to be living in this environment during these so troubled and difficult times, with the mounting pressures people are facing on a daily basis. I mean imagine living in large towns or cities, tower blocks having to look up to see the sky, just paved areas to walk on or having to travel to reach a public green area, YUK, no thanks, and haven’t we been so lucky with the weather, just think what Lockdown would have been like over the winter period or Christmas?
But I do wonder when I see people either out walking the dog, or just out for exercise and escape from four walls if they really take the time to see what’s about them. I doubt it, I walk with groups and even then folk look at their feet rather than where they’re going.
Since “lockdown” how much cleaner the air is; no skies crisscrossed with contrails; the lack of traffic on the roads. Or the colours of flowers coupled with the scent of them; yellow of Laburnum, white of Hawthorn, pinks of Cherry blossom, the richness and volume of bird song or the variety of greens in the fields not just the grass or cereal crops but the trees and hedgerows. Or the managed fields neatly tended.
I often stand and listen to the sounds around me - just bird song, the wind soughing through the trees, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, and Oh the peace, this is what it must have been like before all the modern appendages of life, just you and nature’s green gym, Did you know green is a calming colour, and the best thing about all this is that its on our doorstep and its FREE.
The other day I explored a public footpath I’d not walked before, ½ a mile of canopied lane embraced either side by the white of cow parsley, yellow of rape flower through the hedgerow one side and the rich green of cereal crop the other, retracing my steps walked along Sandy Hill Beck chuckling on its way to where?, I’ve seen Grey and Pied wagtails, a Kingfisher, Thrushes, Buntings, even small fish, a toad, and Water Vole holes, along with Starlings, Crows Blackbirds and strangely only the odd Magpie. Sadly, I’ve not heard the call of the Cuckoo this year.
The other thing I’ve noticed when passing (at a safe distance of course) is that people mainly look up, smile, saying “hello” as they pass by and “Thank you”. some stop and pass a few social pleasantries with you, possibly thankful like me of some conversation, having to socially isolate myself and like many others missing the company of others. Yes, I know Whatsapp, Zoom etc are fantastic things but you can’t beat talking to someone face to face and the contact.
There is a lovely poem by W.H. Davis. “What is this life, if so full of care we have no time to stand and stare…”
So next time you’re out and about, stop for a moment…