04/02/2022

2022/02/04#p1
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Today's daily Thoreau has the following passage:

"In a journal it is important in a few words to describe the weather, or character of the day, as it affects our feelings. That which was so important at the time cannot be unimportant to remember."

It's certainly true that weather or the "character of the day" has an impact on our feelings, especially during winter months with our reduced exposure to sunlight. Much has been written about Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It's not just about weather. As Thoreau remarked, the character of the day can be just as important. Birdsong in the morning always lends a cheerful character to the day and has been shown to relax people physically but stimulates them cognitively.

In the developed world we have largely abandoned our relationship with the natural world. We live artificial lives powered by artificial light, stuck inside for far too long, but that connection still exists on some primordial level deep within us. Under all the trappings of modernity we have never really forgotten the ways of the world. Birds sing when they are safe and, subconsciously, we recognise this.

I started writing about the patterns of birdsong in the Journal a couple of days ago; what time the great tits would start their song, whether they were later than expected, a robin out of place in the morning order. I think it is something I will do regularly.

I will also remark upon the weather whilst doing my morning writing (my equivalent of morning pages in the Journal). Sometimes it might just be an emoji, others it may be more of a comment or reflection.

Today I decided to be a little more descriptive:

Changeable. The susurrous sounds of a light shower before the clouds shift to reveal a beam of brilliant sun. Lost as quick as it was found. Then the more urgent, staccato clatter of hail.

I think it will be a good exercise to help me reconnect.

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simonwoods says:Reply to simonwoods

@colinwalker I noticed the return of the birds last month and mentioned it to my wife. We were both happy to recognise their return to the morning routine.

Also, my own experience of returning to the country (similar to where I grew up, only more so) reflects the truth of the virtues of nature, as opposed to walled-in artifice.

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Colin Walker replied:

Wise words.

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2022/02/04#p2
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My wife's Covid app got pinged even though the only place she's been is in the car. None of the rest of us have been pinged so don't know why she should be the only one. As a precaution we all did lateral flow tests which are negative so that's good.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog