By David Jolley
This week has given us sunshine and no rain – Though this feels likely to change as this evening is cold with a north wind and a grey sky.
It has also given us time – time with our immediate family and neighbours – the latter at several arms lengths. Time for the present, but also time for days which have passed.
It is time to rescue the garden and parts of the park and a nearby greenspace we look after. There is no one else to do it. Work on this can surely count as exercise for the day – and for the health of body and mind. It also seems to me the best offering I can make to the effort to keep people well and cheerful – I would rather do this than be one of the army of volunteers now enlisting to support the NHS directly – There are different ways that we can contribute. Attention now will hopefully bring reward with a tidy park, healthy shrubs and trees and blossoming flowers – The wild flower strips have been uplifting these past two years – Let’s do it again.
Sadly the programme of events – a teddy bears’ picnic, Big Lunch, Dogs’ Delight, Jamming on the Park – all look likely to be lost. We have already lost the Easter Bonnet Parade – when I have usually worn an Easter hat – and lately led the parade with a drum borrowed from the BB. You cannot really have an Easter parade at any other time.
The stimulus of assessments by the Green Flag judges has been postponed – probably to next year I would think – Ditto the less austere review by the RHS/North West in Bloom – These standard setting events will not be here, but we will want to have things as good as ever. That is why we do it.
So the horticulture and attention to the aviary keep us grounded in the needs of nature and the seasons, though it is not so easy to be sure what day it is without our Monday health walks, Thursday pop-in café, Friday seminars and Sunday services. The absence of external diary cues leaves us to discipline ourselves to make good use of the time.
One hour a day is set to be used to sort out the papers and books which carry memories – but memories which have hardly been retrievable – distributed in my volcano version of filing. This is fine for the things which you need day by day and are kept within arm’s reach – but once things drift into the outer reaches – and year follows years without actual contact and usage – Well the detail of the memory fades with a promise that: ‘I will visit when the time allows’.
Now is that time.
Much that is clutter and never should have been kept, is on its way out. Other material which is wonderful but will not be used again by me or anyone else, is also going – with less gladness. Two ‘lost’ photograph albums and associated items of family history are here and being hugged. They define us – we are very glad.
So – we will look for the silver lining in this threatening, thought-provoking time.