There’s something I didn’t tell you about the Bank Holiday weekend.
I saved three lives. (Admittedly it was me that put them in jeopardy in the first place but it still counts I reckon.)
It got me thinking about our current situation which is why I’m sharing it now.
I was doing my favourite kind of gardening – where you get to rip out all the stuff that’s gotten so overgrown that it’s taking over. In this case it was ivy that was spilling over the fence and swallowing up the climbing plants all along my driveway.
The climbing plant pulled away from the fence and dislodged what looked like a bunch of rotting leaves. I reached in to knock it out and discovered that it was a tiny nest with three tiny baby bird fledglings still inside.
I managed to catch the nest as it was falling with two of the babies still inside.The last wriggled free and landed on the ground, with ineffective flaps of it’s not-yet-ready wings.
I nestled the first two babies into my t-shirt and gently retrieved number 3. I could feel their tiny flutters against my tummy, like a momentary throwback to when my own babies nestled inside of me.
Fast forward half an hour after some google searches, Facebook group ‘help’ requests and I had turned things around.
I stowed them safely in a box with their nest leftovers and recreated a nook for them. Then I popped the nest back in place, with extra stuffing to make sure it didn’t slip, and then gently let them wriggle back inside.
As I watched with baited breath from a window inside, I saw Mummy bird entering and leaving many times throughout the rest of the day.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
As we heard announcements this week of yet more relaxing of the restrictions of lockdown, my mind strayed back to those little birds.
Lockdown has been so different for all of us.
Solitary with too much empty time.
Busy beyond measure with extra people at home, and juggling work and home.
Vulnerable and afraid.
Anxious and overwhelmed.
A chance for reflection and recalibration.
Peaceful and full of gratitude.
On the frontline and risking life daily.
As things ease, our experiences will continue to feel very different. If you’e been safely cocooned, like those tiny birds, this opening up may well feel like having the earth shift under you yet again.
We will all have different degrees of comfort with being allowed to be out and together. It’s vital that we stay compassionate, to ourselves and too each other as we adjust.
We may experience a feeling of it all being too much, that try as we might to flap our wings and start to fly again, we’re just not ready.
And that’s ok.
What I know to be true is that things will not be the same. Our illusion of safety in our soft and cozy nests has been dislodged. But we’ve also learnt that there are helping hands to pick us up and help us recover.
Somehow, we will all learn to fly again. We’ll feel the exhilarating breeze against our faces, the lift of the air under our wings and the simple freedom of being out in the world.