We’re in lockdown again, with all the pressures of working from home, educating children at home, and feelings of isolation. These circumstances can be very challenging. As well as the anxiety of the virus there are potential problems of loneliness, depression, and lack of contact with family and friends. The Government and the media are encouraging us to take regular exercise and get outside (in a safe and socially distanced manner) in order to support our emotional well-being. With Spring evident in sunshine and flowers and the rollout of the vaccine there are thankfully signs of hope and a brighter future.
I envy those of you who live in rural areas with access to lovely countryside on your doorstep. I live in the heart of Cambridge and so my contact with the natural world is more limited.
We have been feeding the birds in our garden and have been blessed with quite a variety of birds to watch. There have been lots of blue tits, great tits and greenfinches. I think that many of these are nesting in the nearby park but have realised that our garden is a good place for breakfast or dinner! We were amazed to see a jay in the garden about a month ago. It is the first time I have seen one close to, rather than just pictures in books. I go for a
short walk each morning and always stop at Magdalene bridge to see if there are ducks or swans on the river. A few weeks ago I saw a heron on the bank, who seemed to be regarding me with the same curiosity that I was showing him. Last week I also saw a black squirrel on my walk. felt sure that I was imagining this. I thought that squirrels only came in grey or tawny colours, but there was a coal black squirrel crossing the road in front of me. I have since learnt that their numbers are concentrated in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
These contacts with the natural world have reminded me of the joy we can experience from God’s creation. God nourishes our souls through the wonders of nature. I hope that you will be aware of God’s loving presence through the beauty of your garden and the natural world, and that it will bring you comfort at this challenging time.