The Nature On Your Doorstep – Kitiara Pascoe
‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ and ‘you only want it because you can’t have it’ are phrases we’ve all heard, in various forms, since we first understood language. There have certainly been elements of these concepts within lockdown and never have I seen more bicycles out that look like they’ve been living in the back of garages for the best part of a decade. Never have I seen more people strolling in the evening sun (whilst maintaining the obligatory 2 m distancing, of course).
So has the restriction of our time in the great outdoors made us all the more keen for it? When we can go out anytime, there’s less incentive to do it right now, today. When we only have one allotted time for ‘outdoor exercise’ a day, we’re suddenly desperate to make the most of it.
The country has exploded into bloom, the birds are putting on feathery operas and the sun has been making people say, ‘gosh apparently it’s hotter here than in Spain!’ In short, the outside is as raucous and incredible as it always is at this time of year. Only now we’re noticing it, really noticing it, because it’s all we’ve got.
There are no beach holidays, no European city breaks, not even any jaunts to a national park unless you happen to live in one. Instead, we have the trees outside our doors, the jaunty songbirds with mouths full of nest materials and the endless mood swings of spring weather.
This time is immensely difficult and worrying but we can use it to reconnect with the immediacy of nature from within our little circles of movement. Here in Devon, we are blessed with an abundance of nature whether we have gardens or not. I, for one, can’t use my balcony without getting shouted at by a nesting sparrow. The simple act of opening a window and looking, examining, your nearest tree, will bring you right back into the real world. And it’s quite pretty right now.
Written by Kitiara Pascoe