I wrote this in May 2020, my optimism was not well-placed then, it is now.

The Bullfinch

You know the feeling when your head’s down, your heart is in your boots. Lockdown, social distancing, working from home – it all blows your brains right out, and in certain jobs that’s just not allowed. You’ve got to be strong, clever, brave and smart – not allowed to say a word out of place, take too long to reply to an email or to return a phone call; you can’t have room or time for a personal life for there is always some smart ass ready to take you down.

And personal or family stresses and worries at times have to get in line as you re-order priorities and figure out who you can phone in between hospital calls or arguments with Utilita about smart meters or Tesco about deliveries; then there’s Gardening Express who still haven’t delivered the pear tree you thought a month ago you could not live without and it was only a fiver after all. But they better not think they’re knocking a rise outta me.

The sweat is lashing off you after too many hassles in one day; the printer is acting the goat again, the secure email server is down and you can’t do a bank transfer for you have to reset the blinking password first. You’re wondering what life was like some  five very long though funnily equally so short months ago, panic begins to set in, your scalp tingles with apprehension and you stagger out into the sunshine of your  garden, diddle about in the muck, plant a couple of lavenders and you see the sun is shining.

There is hope.

And as you collapse in thanks onto your bench ,suddenly a lightness flaps above your head, you feel a welcome draught of cool, easy, comfortable release; and the most gorgeous wee fat stubby pink chested bullfinch looks you right in the eye as he lands on your fence, flaps across your apple tree, onto the roof of your greenhouse then bids you farewell. And you know, you just know, it’s going to be alright. Stay safe my friends, stay at home and stay well. This will pass. Just one brave foot in front of the other, a cheeky, hopeful flap of the wings, like my wee pink pal.