Saturday, 11 April 2020

#lockdownlife 2

It turns out I'm not being very successful at keeping this blog up-to-date.  I believe, from conversations I've had, that I'm not alone in finding it difficult to concentrate or to settle to anything creative, useful or constructive in these extraordinary times.

Instead I'm feeling agitated and anxious - anxious generally, but anxious specifically for people I'll never meet who are working long, arduous hours to try to ease suffering and save lives, and am humbled at the sheer volume and scale of their selflessness. Anxious also about a hitherto unimaginable international situation over which my only minuscule element of control is to ensure that I remain at home, where I'm glued to live feeds of the news, devouring facts, figures, expert opinion, whilst morbidly awaiting each day's grim death toll, all, no doubt, fuelling this over-arching anxiety.

And I find myself looking on in envy at people of all ages, all over the world, who are using this preternatural time productively, constructively, creatively whereas I am struggling even to listen to a radio programme or pick up a book.

Life is very small just now, restricted to caring for my animals, feeding my family and trying to reclaim a garden so that I can return to growing a few vegetables.  It's a mighty task after years of neglect, but, at the moment, the thing I have in spades (no pun intended) is time.  The physical connection to the planet, the intimate encounters with nature on this micro-scale help to ground the anxieties, and the mind-numbing, muscle-aching quality of  the work verges on the therapeutic. Thankfully, the weather is uncharacteristically beautiful, which brings its own rewards.

Positivity isn't something that comes naturally to me, but I'm trying to find the joy in small things - the curlew flying low over my head two days ago, the plump, startled hedgehog by the gate last night and the graceful hares I'm lucky enough to encounter almost daily.

Apologies if this appears maudlin.  It's just an explanation of why I'm failing to populate this page with whimsy and the minutiae of daily life on the smallholding.  And typing that, I do realise how very fortunate I am at this moment to be living where I do, when so many are confined to homes with far less, if any, outdoor space.  So I will try to focus less on things beyond my control and to reclaim my whimsical side, which I think is still buried there somewhere......

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