I think we all think about our pre-virus lives and consider it normal. It was busy, stressful, draining, full, tiresome, and frustrating. We were run off our feet with jobs, kids, grandkids, socializing, keeping active and keeping up.
For what seems like forever for some, we have been staying home, being heroes, working together. Suddenly our normal became having time on our hands, lots of time we didn’t know what to do with. We now have time to spend as a family, to eat meals together, to learn to play that game our kids are obsessed with, to read, do jigsaw puzzles, to talk and listen to each other while making homemade pizza, to see the world in a whole new way. Many of us are learning to appreciate these simple things, some are even enjoying it and some are flourishing.
What is your “new” normal going to look like?
Hopefully, we have discovered all that running is not essential; busyness is not always productive; having is not that important. With any luck at all we now realize we can do without all the stuff we felt was vital to our happiness. Our health, our family and time are so much more critical. I hope we all find a new normal which is slower, more connected, more geared to health, family and less things-oriented and acquisition-based. I hope we learn how very little we actually need.
As I sat watching the critters wandering through my back yard recently, I saw a black squirrel with a red tail. There may be more than one but you know, they all look the same. You might have seen them before but I do not remember ever seeing one. Or maybe I just never took the time to see them.
When I was a kid on the farm we had an abundance of squirrels – fluffy grey ones, shiny black ones and those pesky, destructive red ones that liked to live in the attic. When I saw this strange colour combination my first thought was there had been some illicit hanky-panky going on. It intrigued me so I read up on it. The first thing I learned was the black squirrels we have are actually melanistic grey squirrels, which means they have a defective or confused gene that creates an over-abundance of black pigment. It’s like the opposite of being an albino. Grey squirrels also have a red pigment which can give their coat a slight reddish tinge, red haunches or red tails.
I also noticed a few greyish beige birds eating seeds on the deck. I don’t put out bird feeders anymore because I hate seeing dead birds and feathers scattered around because of the many roaming cats. Birds that eat seeds still come and feast on whatever is available naturally. I take no responsibility for what happens to them. So far no dead birds or feathers.
This particular little bird had white and black racing stripes on its head. More research. They are white-crowned sparrows. I didn’t get a good enough look but apparently, they have orange, yellow or pink beaks depending on where they breed. Did not get a good look at the bird with an orange breast and orange stripe on its tail eating seeds under the forsythia bush to know if it was a Baltimore oriole, an orange breasted grosbeak or some species I don’t know about.
Watching pairs of robins, blue jays and cardinals, who come to my vines and bushes to find nesting material to build nests can be a quite funny. They bicker with each other and warn off any who might want to shop at the same time. An assortment of other small, busy, non-descript birds, big, noisy black grackles and soft, gentle doves wander through as well. It is quite an amazing orchestrated series of nature to enjoy over a couple cups of coffee.
A bunny family is living nearby and often come to feed in my back yard. They are watchful and quiet. I worry about them with the plethora of malicious cats roaming freely.
I enjoy the time watching Mother Nature at her best.