When I started these posts, I wondered how long it would take before my reasons to be cheerful started to diminish. And although I know it’s only still early days, I’m happy to say that I’m not there yet.
That is not to say that I’m not listening to the news, and feeling fear and horror at some of the stories that are emerging. Nor is it true to say that I don’t have the desire to have a good long rant about how aspects (maybe all) of this crisis are being handled. But they are for different posts.
What is heartening is how the human spirit deals with situations of crisis. Yes, there are and will always be people who show the very worst sides of human nature, but, in my experience at least, they are far outweighed by the huge number of people who are selfless, caring and full of kindness.
Yesterday, I took my granddaughter on a bear hunt around our street. We have a Facebook page for our street and a number of people put teddy bears up in their windows. It’s such a simple thing, but so lovely. Who would have thought that so much fun could be had walking around the street that you live on spotting teddy bears in windows. My granddaughter loved it, and what made it really special was the warmth and friendliness – from a safe distance – of the few people we saw as we walked.
Today we went on a rather longer walk. I felt we both needed some nature and fresh air. Predictably, my granddaughter didn’t want to go – the lure of TV, tablets, and Trampoline (sorry, I couldn’t resist an alliterative group of three there) – all beckoned. But I insisted; she relented, and we set off. What is striking, apart from the joyful sound of bird song, and the many lovely plants and flowers that we spotted, is how much we both enjoyed it. My granddaughter gave me one of her swift, strong hugs – something she does when she’s particularly happy – and declared that we were to go on walks like this every day. When all else is shut down, there is still a lot to be said for the simple pleasures in life. I would like to note that although we live in Devon, our walk was a very prosaic one through the park and around the block. We didn’t head out to one of the many beauty spots around; we didn’t need to. There is so much to be enjoyed out and about in the streets around us.
I’m not the first to say; I certainly won’t be the last – but let’s hope that both as individuals and as societies, we are able to learn some key lessons from this. Appreciating what we have being one of them.