Trying to bring a little bit of variety into my life at this time of lock-down, I decided to change my usual route as I went out for exercise.
I had avoided the park over the last week but set off early in the morning at a brisk pace attempting to dodge the joggers and dog-walkers.
I t wasn’t long before I met someone I recognised and we paused just for a few minutes to chat at a safe distance.
I don’t know her well but we both attended keep-fit classes in the past and she, like me, has been widowed recently.
After regaling me with tales of various people who were desperately ill with the virus and about how ghastly the symptoms were, she ended with a cheery: “and of course, you are like me, alone in the house. I wouldn’t want to have to deal with that by myself!”
She, of course, was just saying it as it is and stating what a lot of us are thinking. But I walked on feeling that my walk was not providing the necessary antidote to anxiety that it was supposed to achieve!
And then I began to pay more attention to my beautiful surroundings and to the glorious sound of birdsong around me.
The robins were competing vigorously from tree to tree and I could hear a great-tit challenging rivals from the top of the branches. A blackbird flew past me with nesting materials in her beak and flocks of sparrows were arguing in the hedges.
In the tiny pond, there was a little egret fishing-still as a statue – and a family of ducks were making a home in the reeds. Above me soared some sea-gulls and a group of blue-tits foraged among the blossom of a tree nearby.
I remembered the words of Jesus: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6: 26
And I recalled my friend’s words earlier, realising and trusting that I certainly don’t need to deal with this by myself.