Kia Ora, friends and whānau! Have you noticed the sound of the bird song becoming louder during a lockdown? Has it been always that loud, or perhaps you haven’t had the time to listen and be fully aware of what’s happening around you, whilst leading a busy life? Another reason why you can hear the birds is due to less traffic on the road meaning we can tune into nature more? Lockdown definitely reminds us to slow down and find the calm within. Perhaps treat lockdown as a mini reset, and remind yourself of what’s important in life. Appreciating our health, friends and family as well as our own beautiful Mother Earth/Papatūānuku who gives us everything we need such as freshwater, clean air, crops and medicinal plants.
I have been thankful the last few days and have been sent so many butterfly photos from people who have been walking around their neighbourhood observing and seeing Monarch butterflies. I love hearing about how wonderful they felt at seeing butterflies near them as they have started to come out of overwintering sites. A sign that Spring is in the air.
We cannot control things happening around our World and sometimes can feel overwhelmed, but we can control how we feel ourselves by connecting with nature and seeing the beauty it has to offer us, such as a bird visiting your garden or a bee gathering nectar from a colourful flower. When connecting to nature, you definitely feel a state of serenity within as you notice the first sign of spring bulbs shooting through the darkness of the soil, or fresh daffodils blooming.
I have loved smelling the sweet scents of Magnolias and Daphne on my daily walks that I can actually smell them well before I pass the bush – instantly the smell brings a smile to my face.
It’s a great idea to ground yourself in your garden, by digging & turning over the winter soil and do a bit of weeding…it doesn’t have to be strenuous. When you’re outside relaxing in your garden within nature, your breathing slows down and your blood pressure begins to lower. You become relaxed. Which in turn breaks down stress and tensions within the body. Being in lockdown is the perfect time for us to catch up on odd jobs around the garden. I get a great sense of satisfaction from running around my garden seeing what I can fill the green bin with before bin day – it’s like instant gratification, there’s always leaves or dead plants to pull out. On the first day of lockdown, the first thing I did was rearrange my glasshouse and wash all the glass with bleach and soapy water inside and out. Gone was the moss and mould. The windows sparkled in the bright spring sunshine. This was something I only ever do in lockdown as I never really have the time otherwise, I am so glad I did it!
Try walking on grass with no shoes on and see how it feels on your feet? You could even do some breath work and stretching of your body. All while the beautiful rays of sunshine deliver you a nice dose of vitamin D which is vital for our overall health and well-being.
Here in Christchurch, we have been truly blessed with the warm weather that we have had so far during the lockdown. I know how important it is for my children to have fresh air and be outside rather than be on their screens. I haven’t really pushed their school work as I know they will still learn plenty by being outside together – they can prioritise their school work on the colder days which are bound to come. So far, we have only baked once in our house – another one to save for a cold or rainy day.
You don’t have to have a large space or garden, even if you have a few pots or an area where you can sit amongst. You still feel a sense of satisfaction and belonging. Furthermore, you will soon want to brighten it up with flowers, which are also beneficial for the bees and butterflies.
If you have done all your gardening jobs outside, make sure you give yourself time to completely relax and enjoy being in it with a nice cup of tea and a book.