As the grim headlines continue, here are some of the positives I’ve been thinking about, in no particular order.
It’s amazing what you notice when your world becomes smaller and you suddenly have the time to take it all in. I am so grateful for the sights, sounds and smells of spring unfurling all around us. The hedgerows have never looked so beautiful. Several friends with children have commented that they have realised how much unnecessary rushing around they used to do. Slowing down a little might not be such a bad thing.
Small acts of kindness
Neighbours who may never have spoken to each other before offering to pick up shopping and swapping vital supplies. The crop of rosemary left in a front garden asking passersby to help themselves. The amazing neighbourhood support group formed, organised and active within a matter of days. It is heartening to have seen our community, and so many others around the UK, respond so positively to the challenges that face them.
When the daily dog walk or run is the highlight of the day, finding new routes from home has taken on a new significance. I am lucky to live in a beautiful Cheshire town surrounded by countryside. Thanks to the mighty OS map, Strava and Google satellite view, I am pleased to say I have learned more about my local footpaths, trails and tracks in the last month than I have in the rest of the 3 years since I moved here.
Megxit means Megxit
Whether you subscribe to the bullied philanthropists or the self-obsessed cretins viewpoint, surely no one is sad about the lack of Harry and Meghan headlines. Except maybe them.
Waste not want not
I can’t remember the last time I threw any food away. The recent memory of empty supermarket shelves doesn’t half make you careful to use what you’ve got.
The decision of Grazia magazine to feature NHS workers on the front cover of its 6 April issue seemed to capture the zeitgeist of a nation finally re-assessing its obsession with the culture of celebrity. Weekly applause, priority shopping, retail discounts, all of these are important and some would say overdue considerations for those who choose to place themselves in a daily battle to preserve life. Whether this continues beyond the end of the current crisis is anyone’s guess, but even a temporary switching of focus from the inane lives of reality TV participants and vacuous ‘influencers’ to the people who actually matter has to be a positive thing.
The net effect of much of the above feels like a giant decluttering exercise. It has created space to think, assess, prioritise, plan and create. Although plenty of businesses are struggling and doubtless, many will not survive, ideas are germinating and new ventures, organisations and artistic endeavours will rise from the wreckage.
And so, we live in hope. These are dark days for so many. Life may never be quite the same again. But there are positives. And, in shady corners, the bluebells are coming.