Just over a year ago, I welcomed Betanda Shanam to the Microcosm and perhaps you’ve read her book reviews here. Today, I am excited to present you Betanda’s first writing about her life with accompanying pictures.
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Four weeks into our 3rd national lockdown and there is a buzz in the air, an expectancy, children are peering out of their windows looking up at the sky waiting, social media is abuzz, some already enjoying the gift that has arrived. No, it is not Christmas, there is snow on the way and we British do love our weather!
Despite the horrors of the pandemic, people are enjoying the joys the world has to offer. We all entered this 3rd lockdown with a heavy heart, there seems no end to this pandemic. The freedom we all tasted has been taken from us again. But like every cloud there is a silver lining, with the restriction in England only allowing one exercise per day outside and being allowed to meet one other person, from a different household for exercise, and being restricted to stay in our local area, many have found the joys of walking and running.
I come from a family who enjoys the outdoors, taking long walks is a weekly, if not daily occurrence, so being limited to our local area I was concerned for my sanity. I did not need to worry. With my work contract coming to an end, I felt like a child starting the Christmas holidays. Yes, I should be worried about not bringing in any money, but I am excited to be spending time with my family, going for long walks, and discovering new places in our local area.
The joys of being restricted to our area has been an uplifting experience. During our 1 mile radius walk (a total of about 7 miles to walk the perimeter of our village), we have discovered a public tennis court (our tennis rackets are on order, ready for when we are able to use the courts) a big playing field, which the local children don’t seem to use. A golf course which we knew existed but had never explored, that offers beautiful vistas and just by the church a secret field alongside a stream! We have lived in our village for over 20 years and I feel ashamed that it’s taken a pandemic for me to explore our surrounding area. I have, like many stuck to the popular places to walk: local park and county parks.
This morning I took a walk around the village and through the field when the snow arrived. Why does it feel so uplifting to be out in the weather? Feeling the cold on your cheeks and the snowflakes on eye lashes, I think it reminds us that we are alive and belong to the earth, and that is something to be grateful about. There have been many discoveries in the last 10 months to be grateful for, in the spring (during the 1st lockdown) we spent a delightful afternoon watching a baby Great Tit make its way to the bottom of the garden, with its mum encouraging him along the way so he could join his siblings. Watching the sunsets and the sunrises, noticing the feeding habits of animals and birds. Discovering we have a visiting badger, and cat that likes to take supper in our garden. Recently we found a Great Crested newt in our garden who seemingly was stuck on his back, when I helped it turn over it scurried off under a rock by our pond. There are many joys in the world, but it often takes a cloud for us to discover the silver lining which has always been there. So whilst I cannot wait for this pandemic to come to an end, I am looking forward to the changes in the weather and longer days, so I can enjoy our new discoveries, in lockdown all over again.