My Little World
Every afternoon at the same time, my son and I sit on the bench in our garden. We watch our resident blackbird fledgling as he perches on the same low branch (about a metre above us) and sings to his parents, who flutter in with wriggling morsels to keep him happy. Much like the ever-changing plants in our garden, the growing vegetables, the almost tame robin and the chatty starlings and sparrows, this blackbird is part of the rhythm of the very small world my son and I now inhabit. Initially, being stuck at home was tough for all of us. I found I was trying to make lockdown count, to use it wisely, whilst simultaneously juggling the pressures of being a small business owner in hard times, endeavouring to keep our only child entertained and happy, and generally ticking all the boxes of being a good parent and human.
But as the weeks have gone on and as many self-improvement plans have fallen by the wayside (does one ten-minute yoga session count as ‘doing yoga’?), the monotony of the situation has made me surrender. Every day is pretty much the same, and I’m finding that I like it. We have a rhythm to our day and it is simple and small and filled with life. We go for a walk, and on the way we find treasures, spot birds, identify plants (sometimes correctly!) and pretend to see shapes in the clouds.
On the way home we go to the climbing tree for a little muscle building (his, not mine) and some danger. Then we come home and potter about the garden, looking for bugs, seeing if the veg has grown, and at 5.30pm we sit down and wait for our feathered friend to take up his perch and begin his song. On weekends when my husband is free we go to the forest and bask in the peace and endless birdsong (and the occasional passing motorbike – grrr). I’m not saying our days are perfect. They are also filled with tantrums, boredom and probably too much TV (but mainly Sesame Street so that’s educational, right?). The house is a mess and I get very little done. But I’m learning not to care. Because everyday, my little world is filled with, and improved by, nature. And I know I’m not alone in this.
Nature is always there. It does not discriminate. Even if you have no garden or live in the centre of a city you can find it, peeping out of the cracks and pushing though walls and concrete, defying our man-made barriers. It is a reminder that life goes on, that beauty is everywhere, and that we don’t really matter as much as we think we do. How reassuring is that?