There seem to be so many variations on the phrase “When life gives you lemons…”, and I don’t think anyone would dispute the fact that life seems to be hurling lemons at everyone in the world right now. Well… I want any of you reading this to know, there’s not one single thing you have to ‘do’ with any ‘lemons’. It’s enough to simply sit back and breathe.

I struggle with anxiety. It’s not something I have always carried, but I think there was a time when I suddenly felt like an adult… and felt the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I try always to look a few steps ahead. I try and play out many outcomes in my head before embarking upon a path in the hope of escaping any obvious issues.

Life at present seems to be an assault on all senses… and all sensibilities. The situation we find ourselves in as a world seems to have removed all securities for the future, and it’s impossible to plan too far ahead.

Right now though, I am happy to sit back from as safe a distance as I can manage, and simply admire the colour and freshness of the lemons in this picture.

I think I have found a sense of peace in clinging determined to the fact that there’s little I can actually… DO, except take each day as it is.

I took this picture and started the writing ages ago, but life got in the way of it all, and it’s only now that I have been able to return to the unfinishedness of it, and the fact that it’s all been weighing heavily, calling out to be completed!

I was sitting at ‘Overlook Orchard’ taking this picture, and trying to grapple with the thoughts in my head which were begging to be written, when my lovely Nephew, Broderick appeared. Chatting with him is always a joy, and it turns out that our conversation helped me order the things on my mind.

You see, as hard as things may get in life, as many ‘lemons are thrown’, there’s always something good to be found.

For… so many weeks now, people over here in the UK have headed out of our locked-down homes at 8pm on a Thursday night, to applaud the brave healthworkers and key workers who have stood up and battled to protect us all, and keep life carrying on as much as possible. I admit, the first week it happened, I had forgotten about it, and it wasn’t until I was out in our back garden with the puppy at 8pm that I heard noise from the streets all around, remembered, and joined in. I was amazed. We are not a nation known for such public demonstrations, but it honestly felt like such a wave of gratitude sent up to all those working so hard.

By the second week I was ready. I went out to the front of the house, and was pleased to see my neighbour in her garden too. Soon 8pm came, and someone from a neighbouring street set off a firework as a signal that it was time. We all applauded, and I was amazed to look down the street and see pretty much everyone out. People of all ages walked from their doors to the street, to make as much noise as possible. There are cowbells, saucepans and whistles, a true wave of love and gratitude sent up to those helping to keep us all safe.

Three doors away from me lives a wonderfully sweet lass, who happens to be a nurse. She moved into the street not long before us, and as she has a dog, we often see her walking past. Well… she’s been amazing. She’s sorted a whatsapp for the street, in case anyone needs help during all this, and each Thursday night she tries to add anyone else who would like to be added, because here’s a thing which I hope stays…. we all stay out after the 8pm applause. For ten minutes or so, conversations are shouted down the street. It has become a chance to check on each other, to see that everyone is there and we have all survived another week. From a show of love to a specific group of people, it’s grown into an act of sharing love and togetherness with those who live in our street.

We have even had someone walk down to us from a neighbouring street each week, as his weren’t as willing to be out applauding. It is a lovely thing to see some of the older ones, those living alone, able to smile and wave and shout to others, and not feel completely isolated. Of course, our lovely nurse stands and reminds them that they NEED to keep at safe distances from each other. She knows that she and her colleagues have more than enough on their hands at the moment.

I hope that this sense of ‘all being in this together’ is something that will outlast this awful virus. In the middle of this tornado of negative feeling and debilitating fear, it’s wonderful to feel a rush of human togetherness. It is my hope that as much pain, hurt and destruction is brought, there will also remain good, simple… and heart-felt changes too.

Picture taken at the gorgeous “Overlook Orchard” http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/7th%20Heaven/200/247/24

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