• Ali Isaac

nature & landscape| maintaining sanity

Updated: May 7, 2020

To be honest, I'm struggling. It's hard to write, to remain inspired, to keep positive under lockdown conditions; I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Self-isolation is what writers do, we're quite good at it, but it's all the other stuff that's hard to deal with: the lies and posturing of politicians, the vitriol spewed on social media, the biased reporting on the news, the denial and selfishness of so many people, and the heavy weight of death. So much death.

So instead, today I thought I'd share with you what's been keeping me sane these last few weeks. In Ireland, we are allowed to leave the house to exercise within a 2 km radius (on Tuesday, that will go up to 5 km, woohoooo!). Sometimes, I walk by myself, but most days, I walk with my husband, Conor. Our daily walk has become something we do together, our 'new normal'.

We are lucky, because we live in rural Cavan, something I thought kept us safe. Cavan, however, has been severely struck by Covid-19, and has become one of the worst affected counties in Ireland. So far, we have kept Carys safe, and I am so grateful for that. And there are other compensations... here are a selection of them:

Landscape and nature, beast and bird, hills and sky, sunshine and cloud, buzzing and birdsong, lowing and baaing, fresh air on my skin and solid earth beneath my feet, dawn and dusk, movement and stillness, all these things have filled me with joy and love and gratitude, given me purpose and escape, have lifted me up and kept me grounded during lockdown.

On May 18th, all being well, Ireland will begin a long slow transition out of lockdown. Most of 2020 will have been dominated by coronavirus, and perhaps also a good chunk of next year will be, too, as we try and come to terms with our losses and suffering. I hope we don't go too completely back to how things were. I hope this year and all we have been through will be a catalyst for positive change.

This is my little bit of Ireland I am sharing with you, and I love it. Hope to see you here one day. Until then, stay safe and well, and take good care of your little bit of planet. Show me a picture in the comments to cheer me up. Bright Bealtaíne Blessings to you!


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