In the words of American rock band Staind, “Its been a while”. I can’t believe its over 2 years since I’ve written a blog post. A lot has happened since then, but I’ve tended just to publish to my Facebook page. In that time I’ve gone full time with the sharpening business I started in 2017, done a lot of camping, built some ebikes, and said goodbye to loved ones. But those stories are for another day.
It’s taken the global pandemic for me to slow-down and reflect on the lifestyle choices I’ve made, and why I’ve made them. The reason I started Doric Diversions was to inspire people to get out into nature and do things that they otherwise feel they can’t do due to physical or mental limitations. Sometimes all it takes is a wee push. I know, I’ve been there.
At the moment I’m shielding which means staying inside for potentially 12 weeks. However, I go out 4 times a week for exercise as otherwise my mental and physical wellbeing would crumble.
Exercise for me is cycling in the local area. I wear a mask, select routes, times, and locations where there is minimal chance of bumping into others. During the past few weeks I’ve also rekindled my love of photography. I carry a camera everywhere and have developed my skills in taking and developing my images. Unfortunately, I can’t camp or venture further afield as lockdown rules don’t permit it.
And I also wash my hands a lot, an awful lot.
Helping others is at the core of our humanity, and there are thousands of examples of people doing this just now – nurses, shop workers, truckers, farmers, and many, many more. There’s not much I can do to help as I don’t go out nor do I have any special talent, but along with several others, I share my photos of the local area to the local Facebook page – Huntly Blether.
This lets those who are staying safe at home, see the beauty of our countryside as winter changes to spring, and spring changes to summer. It’ll soon be the summer solstice and many people will not have been past their front door.
During the past 10 weeks I’ve noticed, as many others have, that Nature has come back. There are more birds, insects and wildlife than I’ve ever seen in the past 20 years or so. There are also more people out walking in nature, and there are fewer cars, truck and planes. It wonderfully quite. The two are interconnected – fewer vehicles and pollution equates to more wildlife.
We’ve also learned that we can survive without fast food, without multiple trips to the shops each week, without the constant consumerism cycle of shop, throw away, shop more. And most importantly we are reconnecting with people. We’re reconnecting with family and friends,with our community, and reconnecting with our humanity.
Being at home with our families has allowed us to connect again, especially since in our usually busy lives we often only see some family members for a few minutes each day.
Modern technology, such as tablets and phones, allows us to interact with family members who are isolating or live in other parts of the country. Social media is allowing communities to come together, stream live music, and even participate in yoga and other classes. And as human beings, we are showing others that we appreciate them and all that they do for us.
It would be a huge mistake for us to return to exactly the same lifestyle we had before the pandemic. This has been an opportunity for pause, reflection, and to some extent, to hit the reset button.
I firmly believe that we should be actively pursuing a new normal. The old one wasn’t working. Our world has been driven by greed, selfishness, consumerism, and complete disregard for others and our planet.
Its time to make changes.