The Grumpy Naturalist

Grounding Recovery : 90 second read by Farriz Mashudi 07/07/2020

hitesh choudhary, Pexels.com

For two old groundhogs it’s been the longest day.

Neither spring nor summer have emerged. Well not properly, either weather-wise or due to this pandemic. On one of the more desperate days in May, Tesco’s carpark had to do for a clandestine meeting conducted in the open air, 2-meters apart. Exchanged in broad daylight, the drop was a Kindle, with the library still shut. Book worms and burrowing writers alike, what would we to do with ourselves first if, when, the world reopened?

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Coffee was a sure maybe, in any of the cafés in Llandod or Builth, our respective towns. More than 5 miles apart, they’d been too far to travel for non-essentials during the Welsh lockdown, even if they had been allowed to open.

Would Afternoon Tea at the Metropole be the same, or seem better somehow for its drawn-out absence? And when would it resume, exactly? A degree of clarity beyond butter and the clotted-cream it produced would be welcomed, even as we learnt to accept a life of never knowing how safe it was to be out-and-about for vulnerable groundhogs supposedly shielding.

Photo: Kaboompics .com

There’d been no shortages, for which we were grateful, not even of smoked salmon for finger sandwiches made at home. Still, rumours of possible layoffs in Llandod’s two largest hotels — the big green landmark, and the other, resplendent in red-brick, are sound reality checks.

We may be tougher for having braved these long months, and become closer-knit within our confined communities, physical and virtual.

But if like in the Bill Murray film, ‘Groundhog Day’ heaps and mounds of self-less-ness is the key to ending humanity’s presently most-pressing predicament, let’s drill-down to just one of them :

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Possibly the lowest hanging of God’s given fruits, could people just check their unconscious bias? Or biases, how-so-ever-many they be, inherited and/or cultivated since childhood.

  • Compassion mountains;
  • Trust in digger-loads;
  • Buckets-full of a rational measured approach

Too much to hope for? . . . Same as Punxsutawney Phil, this groundhog’s not particularly optimistic.

They’re personal, our own to manage and control. Bias, so often so deeply ingrained, can be so tough to rub out. To discriminate though, would be behaving like this virus. A killing breath, despite vaccines and antibodies to come, would the world be really recovered without people fixing ourselves first, deep down?


It’s all very real to Phil: Groundhog Day 2020

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