“A walk in the Woods” by Denise Wicksteed

Last month I wrote about our surprise trip to South Africa, two weeks of sea, sun and Safari, that seem to belong to another lifetime, in the light of what has happened since we returned home. It is still hard to get your head around the harsh reality of a

global pandemic, of the need for lock down, for social isolation, these words have become part of our day to day reality. We listen to the updates from the Government, hear the terrifying death toll, and marvel at how the doctors and nurses are coping with never before experienced conditions. We think about those who have lost loved ones, and that nothing is normal, even in death and being able to say goodbye in the way you would want to. Grandparents feel guilty, because they are not able to look after their grandchildren, when they feel they are needed like never before. It has been a time to take stock and be grateful. I have never felt more grateful to live in the countryside and to be able to use Farm shops. To have a garden, I cannot imagine how stressful it must feel to be cooped up in a flat with small children, and no outside space. Teachers will be given a renewed respect, when schools go back, and children will be so glad to be with their friends again and back

in the routine and structure that give life purpose. Doctors surgeries and A & E departments will hopefully be visited only when needed, not for every little tiny thing ! Its like the world has been given a wake up call… For myself, it has been wonderful to have Chris at home for the last four weeks, to have time to talk, work in the garden, and enjoy the wonderful Spring weather. We have been keeping in touch with friends and relatives by phone, texts, and even tried Zoom on a couple of occasions, two of our sons still live in London .. And because people are at home they actually have time to talk to you! Last week, on one of our walks, we discovered Deerfold Wood on Mill Lane, we pass it all the time in the car, when shopping in Pershore, but now we have walked through it, and seen the splendour of the beautiful bluebells and primroses, listened to all the fantastic bird songs, and witnessed a deer or two startled at our presence there.

What a magical and peaceful place. Amongst all the uncertainty of what the immediate future will be like, for once we have the gift of time, time to appreciate one another, our friends, and family, our environment, but most of all those who keep us safe and well, our amazing N.H.S.

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