Nature’s Lockdown

Watch the bees. The sunlight catches the whirring gossamer wings and the hypnotic buzzing holds your attention. Look closer at the mosaic of tiny holes in the wood and watch as each solitary bee explores, constantly dipping in and out, working, constructing, preparing. Admire the skill and artistry of each tiny creature, a performer clad in gold and black, dancing, weaving in the sunshine, until it vanishes inside its chosen home, to lay the eggs and close it off from the world. 

Solitary.  Isolated.  Bees in lockdown.

Watch the birds. Sparrows hopping busily around the garden, frantically gathering moss and feathers. Black-cloaked crows flapping overhead, beaks full of twigs, stockpiling in their tower block of trees. The nest building frenzy is in full swing. Now look closer at the tight tangle of branches in the hedge and spot the blackbird huddled down protectively on her nest. In every bush, tree and hedgerow, the birds are staying at home. Shielding the fragile and the vulnerable. For as long as it takes. 

Shielding.  Waiting. Birds in lockdown.

In a dark, dusty corner of the garden shed hangs an intricately woven chrysalis.

Beneath a woven mesh of long grass, nettles and crinkled, faded leaves, in the furthest corner of the garden hides the hedgehog, a barely breathing spiky ball.

Under the soil of the flower beds and in the carefully prepared vegetable patch, the armies of seeds are sleeping.

In the papery remains of last summer’s Sunflower seed heads, tiny insects sleep on, still self-isolating after months of cold and darkness. 

All are waiting. Knowing when the time will be right. When to come out of lockdown.

Then, one day, as Nature knows it always will, the seeds burst and reach out into the light. 

The hedgehog stirs and sniffs the warming night air.

The chrysalis moves, as the butterfly know it is time to unfold those fragile wings.

Fledglings and parent birds leave the nest, tentatively at first, staying close to home; but soon it will be time to fly further and higher.

Young bees emerge from those carefully constructed homes, ready to begin the work of pollination, joined by the honey bees and bumble bees as the days get warmer. 

Nature releases the world from lockdown. The swallows swoop and dive against a brilliant blue sky and the blackbird sings exultantly from the top of the highest tree.

Watch Nature. Be patient. Our time to sing will come.

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