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Day at a time, The beauty of this Spring, 16/04/2020

17 Apr 2020

A Day at a Time – A Daily Blog of Life in Lockdown

Yesterday, I listened to the 6 O’clock news on Radio 4 as I prepared dinner. I found myself moving from a feeling of warmth and openness in my heart to hearing the news that families are being guaranteed the right to be with their loved ones who are dying in care homes, to that now familiar sensation of sadness in my chest at the news of a young nurse, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong dying 5 days after her baby was delivered.

A new practice of Qi Gong today with the flows focused on sending and receiving positive energy; energy to connect to our humanity. A meditation afterwards. When I finished and stood up, the world outside my window appeared perfect in its beauty, stillness and tranquillity.

In the evening, I hold the village drop-in meditation group on Zoom. Each member commented on the beauty of this Spring, each describing a different exquisite detail. We wondered is it that the air is purer, is it that there is no traffic noise, no wind right now? Or is it simply that we have all slowed down enough to truly notice the magnificence of nature all around us. I led some mindful movement to help us come into our bodies. I found myself incorporating a few of the Qi Gong movements that I am so enjoying; the body moving in flow with the breath. There is something quite magically powerful about moving with the flow of the breath and the members felt it too. A feeling of being at one with things. We moved into sitting meditation maintaining awareness of the body, sensing the energy within, particularly in the hands and then paying attention to the breath in the belly. The beautiful, mellow song of a black bird was present throughout coming from one of the members gardens ……. I led, expanding our awareness from around the body and breath to include sounds. I ended the meditation, as I always do with a poem – by chance a perfect pairing to the evening’s gathering.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches by Mary Oliver


It was spring

and I finally heard him

among the first leaves––

then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade

with his red-brown feathers

all trim and neat for the new year.

First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.

Then I began to listen.

Then I was filled with gladness––

and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,

to be, myself, a wing or a tree––

and I began to understand

what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass


for a pure white moment

while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,

and in fact

it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––

it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed


not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,

and also the trees around them,

as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds

in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.

And, of course, so it seemed,

so was I.

Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.

It’s one of those magical places wise people

like to talk about.

One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,

you’re there forever.

Listen, everyone has a chance.

Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,

and does your own soul need comforting?

Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song

may already be drifting away.