It is a cold day in England. I am walking in a park that I so often come to. This time of the year it is unusually quiet, no kids running, biking or feeding the ducks, not many dogs trotting elegantly with their owners. The only few people who were seen, look callous and unfriendly, tired, cold and trying to pull themselves with all their might. No one looks excited, no welcoming or friendly smiles are shared.
The park is reminiscent of hustle and bustle only a few months back. Where finding a parking space close by felt like winning a lottery. Excited people and kids were talking about all the fun things they wanted to do next.
An ice cream van outside the park had a long queue of customers and impatient, indecisive kids looking at the tempting colourful choices displayed on the van, hot day and delicious ice cream, who wanted to wait?
Inside the park it was the sound of fountains, running water, dogs barking and kids screaming in excitement. It was very noisy with jugglers playing tricks, musicians playing music, dancers being copied around and drummers playing confidently.
There were games, talent hunt, rides and food stalls. Young boys and girls were playing football, cricket and tennis. While others watched, cheered and waited for their turns.
Old people sat in groups, were very organised and motivated. They did fishing rode on boats and went around marked trees for a study project. Families preferred green grass, enjoyed opening their picnic baskets and exchanged sandwiches and cakes.
Some were enjoying lemonade and tea, others read books and slept in the warmth of the sun, while the kids ran around a bouncy ball and threw sticks for the dog to chase.
Even those who were alone were spellbound by the green beauty of trees, grass and flowers, nature was acting like a young, beautiful, mesmerising lady, confident, proud and aware of her perfections.
Now, the only sound I hear is that of weak and pale fallen leaves, who have given up on themselves. After putting up a strong resistance with nature, they yet have to be crushed cruelly by shoes to feel slightly more humble and helpless. What a way to go, yet giving a beautiful yellow, orange and red colour to the view and giving that rustling sensation that only autumn can bring was standing awed wondering why there are not many people to witness this?
My friend mentioned one day how we rely too much on the opinion of others, giving others the power to joy or break our heart while feeling helpless ourselves. That made me think how often do we make weather an excuse for our joy and misery?
When it is like a kind and caring friend, we are elated and overjoyed, it lifts our spirits and we are best friends forever. However when like a realist and straightforward friend, it dawns upon us that all that glitters is not gold, all things are short-lived and temporary, we become bitter, unfriendly, mourners and unproductive.
How about it’s a bigger game.
Nature wants us to make ourselves a powerhouse in winter, generate our own sunshine and warmth for ourselves and others? How about we talk to friends we never spoke in years, visit our elderly parents and do a bit of a social worker? Invite loved ones, learn music or a new language, read books we never read before and learn and share new recipes?
How about we become that sun, that lucky, precious, magic potion for others, and the goodness will travel and get back to us… will you give a try?
First published in 2017.