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What I have learnt.

Someone on Facebook asked can you name one good thing to come out of self-isolation, lock down and shielding? There were lots of positive answers I’m pleased to say.

This is my answer.

I watched as the female osprey at the Glaslyn and Dyfi nests returned from Africa and waited anxiously for their long standing male partners to arrive back. I watched as eggs were laid and then had the privilege of watching all morning as a tiny chick broke out of its shell. Wow, what a morning that was. I don’t think I’d realised before just what a difficult thing that is to do with no help from the adult birds. I’ve followed 5 osprey chicks this year and now they have all fledged safely; I happened to be watching the live webcam when one of them left the nest for the first time. I waited and the one I had watched break out of his shell was the last to go on Monday 20th July. I feel that I played a small part in seeing 5 new ospreys in to the world – in reality I’ve simply had the privilege of watching them.

In another few weeks I’ll have to say goodbye to them as they fly off to Africa for the winter.

But I’ve done that before, maybe not as intensely as this year but I’ve followed these two nests for a few years now. So what has been new?

I have watched the young birds from our garden nests as they have discovered life out of the shrubs and trees and I have chased starlings, magpies and jackdaws away from our house martin’s nest and kept them safe.

I watched a mining bee dig a hole in a flower bed; ants running up and down the stems of plants and a small tree taking aphids back to their nest, which I’ve learnt is a very large and intricate structure.

I checked every morning, and throughout the day to see if the Agapanthus flowers had burst out and realised that it is a slow process but worth noticing.

I got excited about hedgehog poo in the garden.

When the weather was good I spent some time reclining in the garden using my senses as I’ve never done before. I became aware of the insect life, the taste of the salty sea, the smell of fresh air brought by the breeze and the feeling as a beetle walked across my arm.

I’ve learnt things about myself too.

I’ve learnt that there are things I can do which I never thought I’d be able to do – like write blogs.

I’ve seen that if I look at things with full attention I can be captivated by the smallest thing and then I can write about it.

I’ve learnt that I can see God in every little thing I see in nature, even the things I would previously have been asking “What’s the point of . . . ?”

I have learnt to use my imagination more, to look more deeply and to appreciate the small things.

As I’ve had longer to spend with God each morning, to read and pray I have seen that time spent gazing out of the window is not a waste of time. In fact it can be prayer. God has spoken to me at these times just as much as when I’ve been reading and talking to Him in “prayer”.

It’s not only the big things that speak of God’s love for His creation but I see Him in the small things too; the way everything works together.

In many ways over the last months God has taught me to be still.

What positives can you take from this time?

Jane

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