Well, here we are again… and I can’t say I’m surprised.
No, I’m not talking about finally returning to the lovely Lens Artists community and our inspiring hosts (I’m more than fashionably late for Ann-Christine’s challenge, Found in the Neighbourhood, and I haven’t participated in a few months, but these ladies have been very understanding in the past, so I hope they won’t mind this time either).
Sadly, I’m referring to my town going back in a sort of lockdown and to the fact that the only surprising aspect about it is that our authorities are finally doing (or creating the appearance of doing) something to control the situation. Right… deep breath… I did promise myself not to get political about the whole mess… and truth is, they’re not the only culprits. On top of a tourist filled summer, too many of us, locals, have systematically disregarded common sense safety measures and have refused to believe the threat is real.
Now here we are, all of us being sent to our respective rooms homes, like the misbehaving children we emulated – quarantined for 14 days. And for some reason, we refuse to learn, in spite of all the deaths and all the suffering going on in over-capacitated hospitals. Ironically, the situation we are facing now is considerably worse than it was this spring, but the restrictions are not quite as bad.
As this piece of news created panic and reawakened hoarding tendencies among my human neighbours, I felt the need to take in my corner of the world from a different perspective and find some balance in nature. It really was a pleasure to notice I wasn’t the only one to do that; in spite of a disturbing number of people emptying supermarket and pharmacy shelves, there were some choosing to focus on other matters.
I’m one of those people who love to travel, yet decided to give it up entirely this year, and instead try to discover beauty in nearby places, in their “neighbourhood”. I did have a few “why didn’t I do this sooner” moments, but perhaps this was simply the right time for those experiences. Silly as it may sound, small discoveries and explorations helped me cope with the “new normal”. In fact, they became one of the nicer parts of this new normal, one I intend to preserve even if we somehow manage to eventually go back to our former life style.
So I took a break from various annoying errands to be done in that pre-quarantine day and instead visited and shared a snack with some of my more adorable neighbours – the winged kind. Instead of complaining about it, I enjoyed the freedom of being in the biting autumn wind, and went for a photo walk, hoping to capture some autumn colours in places so close to home, yet about to become inaccessible for two weeks. Sure, I could try and break the rules, I would probably even get away with it (as so many do), but really, what’s the point?… In the grand scheme of things, this is such a small sacrifice…
As I’m bringing them a treat, I’m smiling under my mask, thinking that the ducks and swans in the park will have to go on a healthy diet for a couple of weeks. These adorable neighbours of mine are so spoiled that they won’t even migrate anymore. This year, I’ve joined those who spoil them, in return thoroughly enjoying their attention and beauty. Such a simple, fulfilling exchange! Such a treat to have swans eat from your hand… for a moment or two, it feels like all those maddening issues are far away, surreal… just like it feels on a cold empty beach while staring at the sea…
Stay safe, everyone! Protect yourselves and those you love, and don’t disrespect others’ efforts and sacrifices!