The blackbird’s song

I couldn’t write my usual blog last week because I saw so many people telling us how to think, feel and behave and I felt yet another one of the same would be too much.

I’m returning to my usual today because I miss the discipline of positive thinking I practise every Monday. I’ve partially replaced it with my daily candle-lighting tryst, but I do have another tiny thought to share with you now…

Last week on a sunny freezing afternoon I forced myself to sit outside without Twitter, Facebook, whatsApp or children (😬). I was expecting to hear more sounds of nature than usual, although not to the extent people in Wuhan experienced it. When there was a break in traffic- hopefully just our heroes racing towards Craigavon hospital- I did enjoy one birdsong very much. I think it was only last year that I traced the tuneful sound to the opened, uplifted yellow beak to a blackbird. You all probably knew this already, but out of that uncolourful, dark bird comes one of the most beautiful songs in the garden.

You know my inclination to find light in the darkness, good in the bad, or to ‘stumble into grace’ as I once put it. Maybe, while also acknowledging the seriousness, darkness, grief and pain of this time, we can keep ourselves going by finding a way to savour the short songs of joy and kindness that are offered to us every day. Like the blackbird’s song.

My daughter made a gratitude jar today as class-work. The idea is that each day you write down three things you are grateful for. As I have heard a number of times in a number of places, gratitude fights anxiety. Right now, I am grateful for her reminder, and for the blackbird who sang me out of my doldrums last week.

I wonder what you’re grateful for today? You never know, doing this might go a way flattening the curve of fear too.

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