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  • Writer's pictureJo Richards

Nature therapy

This lockdown period has been challenging to say the least, but what have you found comfort in during these times of need?

Lockdown. Just the word stirs feelings of unease and oppression, but has this lockdown actually caused us to make changes for the better in all of our lives?

Being forced to stay at home, restricted from simple everyday activities like socialising, work, and consumerism have had such an impact on all of us, but this period has forced me to take stock and really acknowledge what my life had become.

It's easy as a consumer to get swayed by the latest gadget and fad, the high street trends, the latest must-have, but when you're no longer worried about what you're wearing, and your priorities shift to making sure you have access to food, and keeping your family safe and well, material things take a back seat.

The simplest of pleasures have kept me going throught this unprecidented time. The huge loss of my Father to long-term health issues during lockdown has had a devastating effect, and a large dose of life re-evaluation ensued, but it's not just his immense loss that I've grieved.

I've found myself grieving for the simplicity of life that I once had, where material things weren't important, where money and 'stuff' weren't a priority. Taking back control of how my life is lived has been both empowering and revelatory for me, and I imagine many others at this time.

I have found immense comfort in Mother Nature. Don't get me wrong, I have always been a HUGE fan, but something profound has happened and I feel even more immersed in her beauty and greatness than ever before. The simple act of smelling the perfume of a delicate rose, to brushing my hands through the leaves of a tree in the forest, sitting peacefully in the garden with a coffee to start the day, watching the fledgelings make their clumsy way around the lawn, and observing how beautifully the sunlight dances through the majestic trees. There simply is nothing greater, and nothing has provided more comfort and fulfillment to me in this time than that.

It has also made me look at my art as a source of great joy and pleasure, and creating intuitively and organically has become a real delight. Creating for creating's sake is abolutely how I want to make art for the rest of my life, and if I can earn just a small amount from doing that, I'll be a happy person.

Another source of comfort and happiness are my beautiful children. Having them at home, attempting to home school, and spending a lot more time than usual with them has obviously been, at time fairly stressful, however, it has also given me time to stop and observe, look at how their little personalities have grown, and the looks on their faces when they experience joy and emotion. What a wonderful way to learn about how precious the world is than from it's youngest and most innocent inhabitants. Their sheer delight in planting a seed, watering the garden, watching baby birds in the nest box from afar, and seeing them take their first flights, playing with sand and water, putting paint brush to paper and creating something just because it feels good to do so. They're instintive and inquisitive, and see the beauty in almost everything they touch. What a blessing.

So what am I trying to say? Lockdown has been hard. With the loss we've experienced as a family, probably the hardest time of my life, but there is always beauty. There is always more to learn, and there is always time. Time for a shift in priorities, times for a change in behaviour, time for a re-learning of values, time to gain pleasure in experience and not in material. I know that this period of uncertainty, grief, and speculation has changed me for the better, and I will be making adjustments to my life that will last forever. I hope that my children will practice gratitude daily, as I have learned to, and that they will always appreciate the world we have, and try to change the bad parts of it for more good. We all need more love, laughter and happiness in our lives. How about you?

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