"Here we are in the midst of a winter lockdown, anxious about when life will return, yet there is hope - a warm light will emerge and freedom will call and we will leave the winter and leave our hideaways to feel the sun on our faces again."
It's fair to say that life in lockdown in The Netherlands was a bit more 'free' than it is here in the United Kingdom. Over there, you can freely go out and walk in the countryside but here, we should not travel too far and only leave home for essential reasons or exercise. I decided to go a short distance from home this weekend to get some fresh air (at last) and walk a bit without venturing too far - the sunlight was inviting and the temperature not too low.
I've been coping alright with staying at home so far but like all of us, I look forward every day to freedom again. After the move from The Hague, I feel like I'm in a sort of waiting room, waiting for life in the UK to actually begin. My house, vacant for 7 years, has welcomed me back as a refuge from the cold winter and cushioned me from the fears of how life may work out in this now foreign environment.
As well as longing to travel, meet people, drink coffee in cosy cafes, see my friends in The Hague and generally live again, I'm very much missing getting out and about with my camera. So, here was a chance to embrace the short hours of daylight and favourable weather and see what Coombe Abbey park could offer (for a walk and also creativity).
It was no surprise that numerous families were out enjoying the fresh air. Parking the car, I made a long trek to the entrance to the park, avoiding mud as much as I could (this proved a futile endeavour in the end!) At the visitor's centre, I took a stony path, raising my hand to block the cool winter sunlight from my eyes. The vast fields stretched out to my left - quite a change from the cosy, protective walls of my house.
I headed towards a vast lake adorned with geese and ducks. As I walked, I noticed a lone log a distance away on the grass, as the low sun gleaned through the bare trees of the dormant February landscape. It seemed an inviting spot to escape to, a chance to leave the other walkers behind for a moment of reflection.
I saw the shot I wanted and knew it inevitably meant leaving the path and braving the mud! As I ventured across the grass, I am sure people would have thought I was crazy 😜
Taking a few shots at different exposures, I got the shot I was after. I like to think it's a hopeful shot; here we are in the midst of a winter lockdown, anxious about when life will return, yet there is hope - a warm light will emerge and freedom will call and we will leave the winter and leave our hideaways to feel the sun on our faces again.
For now, let's do what we can to embrace the slower pace. I hope when you look at this photo, you feel a sense of peace and calm that allows you to escape the anxiety of the current moment for a while. Freedom will come, we just have to hold on a bit longer and stay positive.
This image will be in my 'Woodlands and Countryside' gallery soon!
How has lockdown been affecting you? Also, have you ever made a big life change in difficult circumstances like I have? I'd love to hear about it - write a comment below 😀