In the weeks we’ve lived in lockdown, we’ve discovered that Parcheesi is a fun game, car parks make good bicycle playgrounds when there aren’t cars in them, and there are paths to walk on near us that we never knew about. Having a 2km travel limit for weeks on end has forced us to be creative, and to look more closely at the familiar things in front of us.
Normally, if we want to see flowers in the Spring, we go to the old mansion house a few minutes away, where the formal walled gardens are open to the public and kept blooming with exotic beauty from around the world. Ever since we moved here, we’ve felt lucky to live near such a place. Now that place is closed. Instead, we walk in the industrial estate.
Let’s face it, it’s an industrial estate. The trees and grass and landscaped bushes can’t compensate for the blank walls and tangled piping, the factory sounds and factory smells. It’s nothing like the formal gardens. At least, that’s what we thought—until we looked closer.
Our children were given an assignment from church to find as many kinds of wildflowers as they could*, so we went on a hunt. I thought we’d find a handful of daisies and dandelions, and maybe some bluebells. An hour later, we had thirty-three different varieties of wildflowers in our hands, some with blooms no larger than the head of a needle. Thirty-three. From the industrial estate!
All of that beauty has been there, all along, in the grass under our feet and the hedges along the roads. We just never payed enough attention to notice it.
I wonder what else we’ve been missing?
*Our children’s assignment from church was based on this verse, from Jesus’ sermon on the mount:
“…And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”