The world, in all its brokenness, is still beautiful, and nowhere is that more so than in the wild places where nature reminds us of her immense power to counteract the darkness.
With each passing day, the realization dawns that for some people, new hellish torments of war await not too far away.
Amid all the ugliness, it can be difficult to find hope or see an end to what is a nightmare for so many people.
Perhaps that is why we cling to good news and positivity in our world in whatever form. It’s like balm during these times to step into the back garden and simply immerse yourself in the splendor of almost summer.
I struggle to find the words to explain to my children what is going on in Ukraine. It’s hard to articulate how a dictator at a time when the world was just emerging from a global pandemic chose to unleash hell.
It seems misplaced to be optimistic that this madness will end anytime soon, yet we must go on living our lives in the hope that it will end soon.
The gratitude I feel for a day when I can get busy with mundane activities like taking my kids to school and doing simple chores like cooking dinner has been almost overwhelming lately.
During the pandemic, nature became our comfort. More and more of us have found healing in the salty waters of the seas that surround us, or in the nearby hills, forests, and city parks.
Spring is a time when life seems to be unfolding, maturing, opening and preparing for full bloom around us.
It is a daily reminder of the possibility of healing and rebuilding after the ravages of winter.
When my family and I returned home after a week, we came back to a garden full of life. It was only a week, but it felt like everything suddenly grew and turned green in that time. Our garden had awakened from its half-sleep to a riot of noise and color in our absence.
Now the birds seem to be in ecstasy every morning – building nests and cajoling potential mates noisily, fluttering and singing tirelessly.
Just the other day I witnessed two robins fighting each other for territory – epic battles for survival are taking place right under our noses.
With each dawn the ferns seem to unfold a little more; the buds of birch and sycamore seem more open. And as these changes take place, the wild creatures come back; the butterflies and the bees come to feed on the dandelions that we don’t cut and the other early flowers.
White bells abound in the woods, and their more fragrant relatives, the bluebells, also make an appearance. Soon there will be a sea of them turning the forest into a warm purple haze that you will want to bottle. The beauty of it all is shocking, especially when confronted with the horror unfolding elsewhere.
On the hills near where I live, the bushes are full of yellow flower petals whose scent, like coconut, fills the air when you walk nearby. The frogs have spawned, the crows’ nests are in full swing and the loud noise of the birds trying to outdo each other is nature’s way of reminding us that life is precious.
Earlier this week the first swallows arrived, flying low over the garden, diving across the river before soaring into the sky at breakneck speed. These were in transit and we still patiently await those who return year after year. It’s still early for her, but we hopefully await her return.
Nature, no matter how threatened by species extinction or climate change, always finds its way.
The simplicity of life unfolding and comfort from the wild creatures in our gardens have been things we have come to appreciate during various lockdowns.
Once again, at a time when we are struggling to understand the inhumanity that is unfolding and easily despairing, nature can show us that a fresh start is possible.
It shows us how to put hope in the humble places.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/even-in-these-times-of-darkness-nature-is-always-there-to-let-the-light-in-41601862.html Even in these times of darkness, nature is always there to let the light in