I can’t be the only one rolling my eyes at people who have suddenly discovered nature as a result of Rona taking over our lives for the last year.
It is as though we were all so busy riding the post-financial-crisis economical boom and taking health, wealth and free movement for granted (oh boy was it a fun ride) whilst happily unknowingly forgetting that the most meaningful experiences and feelings can be found in the most extraordinarily mundane situations. 1
I am definitely guilty of the above.
I took for granted that I would be going abroad over the summer, that my job wouldn’t be at risk and that when my mother left to go to Brazil att he beginning of the year we would be seeing each other shorty. She remained there for an eternity of 5 months and it was not a great experience not knowing if she should fly home and risk getting ill, or stay in Rio and well, risk getting ill.
Fast forward 12 months and I take none of those things for granted. And like many other people, I’ve craved the closeness to nature during these last months. I even took it a bit too far this summer by insisting to sleeping outside in the hammock in my parents garden, just so that I could wake up to the sound of birds and to the fresh air.
Needless to say that after 3 hours the cold got the best of me and I walked inside the warm house and accepted my defeat and was mocked for the rest of the summer by my family.
It is as though the anxiety and fear of the unknown can only be cured by surrendering to the idea of us as humans being so insignificant in relation to nature. Although it felt as though the world was on fire this year spring did arrive, as did summer and now autumn. The stock market plunged, people lost their lives, we have collectively found ourselves (and still do) in a state of fear and uncertainty and meanwhile nature has simply done its thing.
Of course we want to reconnect to it, more than ever! It gives us a sense of stability.
What all of this (and by this, I mean a pandemic) has done to me is that I have begun to appreciate things I did take for granted pre-pandemic. Such as my health, my wealth ( the word wealth makes it sound as though I live at Downton Abbey, when all I mean is having a safe place where I love spending my time and having a job I love) and the closeness I have in my daily life to the sea. Fancy brunches in Paris with fabulous French colleagues have been swapped for moments in silence with my dog down by the pier with my 2 boiled eggs, coffee thermos, fresh air, 10.000 steps on my Fitbit and a warm feeling in my body. Followed by a bit of French glam on the sofa through an episode of Emily in Paris. Right now, that is all I need.
Is it all good then? Has this inflation of gratitude-groups, at-home-candle-twisting (seriously?!)and other privileged epiphanies from the pandemic turned us all into people who will no longer see the charm in brunching out ever again? Probably not, but the frequency in which we do it might change and the avo-toast might just be swapped for 2 boiled eggs and a thermos filled with local coffee out in nature, reconnecting to ourselves, each other and reconnecting to nature.