Nature on my doorstep

Like the rest of the UK, I have shut the door on the outside world and waited for the Covid storm to pass.

I can walk in normal times and never come within 2 metres of another soul for hours. Still, I have dutifully stuck to the rules and have not ventured beyond the village limits since the end of March.

With routine and deadlines cancelled, I have become attuned to the circadian rhythm of the village instead. I now know the exact spot to stand as dawn reaches across the grass to warm my face and the best gate to lean over as the last rays disappear over the horizon.

A single path walked daily has become a marker of time, ferns unfurl and buds open heralding the turn of Spring to Summer. A scrubby, unloved verge reveals delicate fritillaries buried amongst neglected grass. A pony greets me with his nose through gate bars knowing my outstretched hand will pet him as I pass.

With the world silenced, the birds are once more cacophonous. Twilight is filled with noisy rooks squabbling for a roost and the trill of the lotharious skylark. Nature is reclaiming the space we once inhabitated and the world outside the village boundaries feels increasingly remote and intangible.

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