Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Life returning

Apart from the cold greyness of much of today - I'm talking weather - there was a distinct feeling of normality about much of it. Before it even got started, mind, I allowed myself the luxury of a further little doze in bed after I'd drunk my tea, on the grounds that retired people can do that sort of thing without guilt. After I was up, I took my time over breakfast before stewing some prunes (tea, maple syrup, star anise) and helping Himself with a recalcitrant web site which made ordering so difficult that in the end I just rang them instead. Then we took it in turns to go for physio, which in my case was the luxury of the kind of back massage you see in films like Spartacus when business is done at the baths ...

After lunch I met my pal at Benmore Gardens for a walk. I've not been there for a few weeks, and now all the rhododendrons are out and are wonderful enough for me to have been constantly stopping for photos. And you'd have had one of these in the blip had I not insisted we stop by the nature hide. This has been locked up throughout the pandemic, and the feeders hanging from trees and nailed onto tree stumps have gone unfilled, presumably to stop people congregating to watch birds and ...

Red squirrels. I've seen them, of course, scampering along the ground or up a tree, but have had far fewer sightings than in the time pre-Covid. So I was overjoyed to arrive in the wooden hut with the long window and see this little chap busily munching his way through the peanuts from the box behind him. There were birds, too, on the feeders - chaffinch and something greenish - all looking as if they'd been there all the time. 

As I drove home, I felt strangely restored to a sense of quiet normality that I've not enjoyed for the entirety of the pandemic. It does, however, feel absurd to reflect thus when the barbaric war is continuing unabated in Ukraine and a European war - with its inevitable global consequences - seems ever more probable. It's like going back to the 80s all over again, only this time I have all these grandchildren to worry for as well as the children who are their fathers. And somehow that sharpens the horror of what's happening, and the realisation that mutual assured destruction seems no more of a reassurance now than it ever was.

So today I'm clinging to the hope embodied in one tiny red squirrel, the life that returns when we have almost stopped looking.

Sign in or get an account to comment.