Most mornings, whilst in the grip of this global pandemic, I have found myself waking with a heavy feeling of despair and gloom blanketing my mood. Blissful dreams which may have temporarily whisked me away to a better place are soon scattered, and reality kicks in the moment the TV or radio is switched on, with media news setting the tone for the day.
However, being in possession of a positive spirit, my first priority is to shake off that overpowering cloak of doom, wrap myself in hope, and try to be grateful for all those little things around me which confirm how lucky I am, not only to be alive, but to be living here on this wonderful island of Majorca. As we move through life, we innocently take a multitude of things for granted, and it sometimes takes a huge shake up like Covid to make us re-evaluate and appreciate those miniscule details and actions which often pass us by without a second thought.
At the time of writing this article I had just spent some wistful time pottering away in our tiny orchard. I could say ‘working’, which would be a feeble description of pulling a few weeds, and sweeping the aftermath of a violent wind which deposited the world and its waste into the corner of our small ‘huerta’. As I randomly plucked fresh oranges and lemons from the fruit trees, I was once again reminded how lucky I am to be living here in Majorca, and how clever Mother Nature is to produce such precious jewels.
The citrus aroma which accompanies even the smallest of harvests is primal and heavenly. Plus, there’s nothing quite like picking fresh fruit from your own tree! It’s a spiritual thing!
Whilst in our tiny orchard, I also noticed that an old aloe vera plant which I had dug up in the summer ( under the impression that it was dead ), and totally discarded in a remote waste corner, had suddenly started to sprout. New roots had found their way beneath the hard soil, defied the lack of sunlight or water, and survived the ordeal of abandonment to produce tiny baby ‘Veras’ which will now be nurtured and replanted. A miracle of resurrection? No not really, just the power of nature and its survival against all odds. Something we need to hang on to in these most dire of times!
These small and simplest of things, like new grass, the first rose of summer, birdsong, a spider’s web bejewelled with dew drops, rainbows and midnight stars twinkling in a perfectly clear sky often showcase the rich wonder of the universe, making me realise that whatever is thrown at the world, it will always continue to turn; and nature will always deliver. There is no doubt about that!
As I take time out to look around and reflect on our island’s wonderful landscape, I am reminded daily of the wonderful forces of nature, and the natural beauty which abounds here in Majorca. Dramatic, verdant mountains drop dizzily into hidden coves shielding cristaline waters swathed by sugar-soft sand. Lush pine woodlands surround rural villages flanked by terraced groves of native olive trees. There are peaceful monasteries on lofty peaks, and hiking trail to test your stamina along with your soul. Wherever you look there is something of wonder and interest, with the rolling countryside or coast never that far away.
Throughout the year we are usually blessed with roughly 300 days of sunshine to enjoy this Mediterranean paradise, despite Covid’s attempts to bring us down. Some parts of the island recently recorded the warmest day in January since records began, and we were lucky on that day to be driving to Puerto Pollença with our eyes feasting on the early pink almonds blossoms along the way. The outline of the Tramuntana mountains proud against a clear blue sky was breathtaking. We walked the seafront at Pollença with the warm sun beating down on our backs. The water shimmered like a sparkling mirror. The sand was golden. The air was still. The atmosphere was peaceful and harmonious. And for a few hours, the horrors of the pandemic was forgotten!
I am very aware, during lockdown restrictions, of the tremendous strain put on families in cities, along with the tragic effect and devastation caused by loss of income and jobs, with businesses being destroyed, and entire industries collapsing. And as a columnist I try to provide a service and entertain local readers, whether it’s through sharing a personal observation or opinion, a rant about a current situation, an injection of humour along the way, or merely offering hope to elevate these grey and oppressive times. But it’s a tricky task, and there will always be someone out there who will take some form of affront, or grab the wrong end of the stick, claiming I am trivializing the effects of the pandemic when I am merely trying to put a smile on people’s faces by offering a moments escape from the gloom.
We are all entitled to our own views and opinions, yet sometimes we all need to chill out and seek a little distraction to pull us back to the place where we want to be. Like everyone else on the planet, I look forward to getting beyond this current nightmare. I don’t quite know when exactly, but as sure as eggs are eggs we will! It’s not easy, but I think it’s better to look for a silver lining rather than simply wasting our time focusing on the gloom, and concentrate on our well being and mental health.
Nature might provide us with a spectacular visual tapestry to enjoy, and challenge us with its powers of diversity, but science will prevail and not let us down. Some despicable people along the way might disappoint, but our brilliant scientists, and heroic army of doctors and nurses out there on the front line will never let us down! Let’s hope they all have some form of personal distraction, and moments of laughter to lighten their load, giving them some share of peace and calm as we wait for the vaccination program to finally roll out across the island. Then we can all breathe easily, and start enjoying our beautiful Majorca again to its full potential.