This year, they have expanded their territory to the east side of my home as well as the north, and as I write a pair is swooping and soaring above my office window with excited chatter: it is very uplifting, and reminds me of nature’s great power to heal.
It is election day here in the UK, not at all a normal election but one filled with more uncertainty, cynicism and pessimism than I can remember. The sense of political disintegration is palpable, as is the conflict between those people who believe the old system of government selection can, must continue and those who recognise that we are witnessing the dying days of parties and systems and the emergence of something so new it has yet to take form. Meanwhile, what will happen as we wait for the phoenix to rise from the political ashes?
Endings and beginnings are all around us: change is a constant in life, but what is happening now is remarkable. I am hearing of pain and loss, of life-changing issues that are most painful from those I encounter, and for some the hurt is close to despair. Part of the anguish is related to a fear of an unknown future, and a longing for the security of how it was before to return. Bygone ages are in the past, however, and were never perfect, except when memory makes them so.
So, this is a time of precarious vacuum as we wait for what is to come, in life and not just in politics. It is tempting to insulate ourselves from external events through the distractions of television, technology, needless spending and busy-ness for fear that being still and aware of global great events presaging major change will be too difficult to bear. Avoidance tactics are not helpful, and if we can acknowledge with clear eyes and no judgment how we think and feel, and why, we are able to trust and to know all will be well.
The greatest healer of pain and fear is nature. By reaching out to this amazing resource of grace, beauty and timelessness, we can become a part of it and not separated from it: when we do so, the hurts fade and our natural love of life and optimism return to overcome the shadows of uncertainty. Watch the birds, touch the grass, talk to the trees, observe the clouds, and by making nature a constant in your world, you will help your world as well as yourself.