Published: 28th April 2020
Is nature saying 'thank you'?
Over the past few weeks our world has mostly been in 'lock down', in an attempt to minimise the impact of the virus that has affected almost every part of the world. COVID-19: sadly a title we are unlikely to forget; the word ‘unprecedented’ now so highly associated with these times too.
The sinister havoc continues, the sadness due to the loss of loved ones mounts, the draining impact for those directly involved seeing no respite any time soon.
And that is but a small part of the ripple effect that touches everyone in some way.
This is not a lament about the times we are living in, or the way the few are not honouring the efforts of the many. Our news and social feeds are filled by the minute with comment – some accurate, some amusing, some tear inducing. Much of the press could/should be doing more to be helpful – I hope many hold their heads in shame when they reflect.
Yet in all of this turmoil, many are making the best out of difficult times. Doing what can be done. Helping where they can. Engaging where they can. Keeping out of the way, when they can, hoping to ease the load on others.
In a gifted moment I was sitting in the garden with a coffee, taking a little time to slow life and acknowledge a few thoughts. I was enjoying my coffee more than usual. I savoured the sturdy aroma, noticed the intense blackness against the white cup. The strong and wonderfully pungent hot taste. I could also hear the birds chatting amongst themselves much more than usual. The warmth on my skin. The insects flitting about, even though spring has barely started. I also enjoyed the sight of light pink cherry blossom.
After I had finished my coffee, I took a closer look at the cherry tree, realising that there were bees collecting for their hive. It was lovely to watch them in their work, flitting from flower to flower, sometime a brief visit, sometimes much longer, as they collected the prize they were after. It was good fun trying to catch a few pictures, lost in the moment of focussing on the bee and its acrobatic antics. The picture for this article is one where the bee was just taking off from the flower, on its way to the next and the next.
Nature is perhaps enjoying more freedom and less risk than usual - I understand that bumblebee numbers have increased, fewer have been killed by traffic. Air quality has improved, rarely do we see the contrails in the sky – in fact I cannot remember when I last saw one. So out of adversity there is some benefit with nature managing to reassert itself, if only for a while, before the human starts to race again.
Our economies have taken a huge ‘hit’; oil prices going negative for the first time ever; many will lose their livelihood as businesses fail - taxation income weakened, which pays for the public sector services so appreciated in these testing times. Yet we will learn some lessons and bounce back. It will not be the upward trajectory of a well drawn line, more like that of a slow spin bowler looking to fool the person with the bat.
I know that that our ‘new normal’ will have changes. We will need a lot of ‘doing’ to get things moving again to provide the resilience, resources and reserves required. Ensuring we can be proud to live in one of the best countries in the world (lest we forget).
I really do hope that as the race again speeds up, we cherish time to regain and appreciate what is really important. Perhaps the bee has left a powerful message, and as the caffeine kicks in I need to remember to be a human ‘being’ more often.