Anyone else struggling their way through lock down blues? I certainly am. Each week comes with its ups and downs. Normally I am starting off my week eager to change the world then pass through despair and moments of panic and then sadness of missing all the friends and family I'd love to give a cuddle. That said, there is one thing significantly contributing to my wellbeing just now.....wildlife
Everyday I am aware of the privileged position I am in because my biggest woes are just about having to stay at home. I am not faced with having to go out and risk my life to earn a living. That said, for me, I have already been living a life of social distancing in the months before Coronavirus kicked off. As a freelancer I am used to spending long periods of time alone and working from home but this last few months, more than ever, I have been overly familiar with it. This has been my first year without another job. With my main bread and butter being wedding photography my work has become more seasonal than ever and so winter has been relatively quiet. I was just about to leap into my busiest year yet. I was so excited to get out and about and work with all my lovely clients. Understandably that is all on hold for the time being.
I am also incredibly fortunate that I recently relocated from a city tenement to a more suburban dwelling with a garden. Without even leaving home joy can be sparked. Whether it be every time I see a sparrow having a mud bath in my newly seeded border or when the pair of lesser blacked backed gulls make a racket on my flat roof. This morning a pair of ring Necked parakeets flew over the whilst I was listening to a dunnock singing its heart out in the neighbours garden. Red admirals butterflies and plenty of bees have begun dancing their way through the garden too.
thrilling for me is hearing the chiffchaff and blackcaps singing in the local woods that I walk through on my daily walk. They weigh under 10g and some may have migrated all the way from western africa. I go along the river and I get an almost daily dose of dippers navigating the rocky river bed. The woods are also springing back to life and blooming with wild flowers. First it was the lesser celLandines and wood anemones. now the wild garlic is about to explode aside the brilliant blue of the bluebells. Back to the garden, I sowed a Scottish native wildflower meadow last autumn (more on that another time) and I am watching with eager anticipation as small shoots of vegetation are popping up in the border. Yellow rattle has been the first to appear and I'm excited to see what comes next.
One thing which has always rung true for me is that spring always springs and wildlife gets me through. From a young age I have found solAce and reassurance in nature when I have needed it the most. It started with feeding the birds at my local nature reserve and advanced to climbing Scotlands munros to feel small and insignificant in a landscape shaped primarily by geological process. Nature is reliable and is wherever you happen look, it surrounds us all the time. You don't need to have a garden or even a woodland on your door step you just need a sense of intrigue to discover what surrounds us. Even the city centre flats I have lived in I have enjoyed the gorgeous notes of a singing song thrush over the ambient hum of urban life. You don't need any high tech kit, just your senses and a moment to notice. It also doesn't need to be rare, it doesn't need to be beautiful it just needs to be something other than ourselves. observing a daily life going on beyond our human one is going some way to help cure my blues. I hope that it can do the same for you and if you don't know what I'm talking about spend some time looking out the window and wait and see what appears.... you might be surprised.