Yesterday I paid a visit to my church, my temple, my synagogue, my mosque at whose altar I worship. “Nature is my church” is a lovely phrase that came from a Canadian man who left the high-density, vertical city of Vancouver to live in a log cabin on a semi-secluded island with forest and beaches, one of the southern Gulf Islands situated between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. One day I will visit that entire region, but for now – and while we’re still in lockdown – I can walk ten minutes from my flat to a beautiful nature spot.
Towering trees and whispering grasses.
The weather was perfect yesterday: sunny, a cool breeze and 19°C (66°F). Too beautiful to stay indoors! In fact, I’ve observed a funny thing: my French colleagues daren’t go outside during this lockdown, whereas me and my non-French friends go out every single day. Why is this? Because the French view their government as a “nanny state” and, like obedient children, follow its strict rules and regulations re COVID?
I can’t tell you how restorative it was to sit on a log – tranquil and undisturbed – while listening to the birdsong, looking up at the blue sky and the trees all around, and feeling the sun on my skin. I will return to this same place later today. There’s a term for this: forest bathing, and it’s true!
But this could be the last moment of feeling tranquil and undisturbed. The coming months and years look very grim indeed. The aftermath of COVID-19 is that the European Union is staring at its worst economic recession ever.
Our days of gliding serenely on the pond are over. Am I being overly-pessimistic? Only time will tell.