As we accustom ourselves to life in lockdown – for however long that may be – we find the need to contain ourselves within a much smaller space than we are used to and in so doing we to rediscover ourselves and our places anew.
One way to do this is to focus on the smaller picture, that which is often too diminutive to come to our attention and in so doing we may find that the bigger picture is contained within the smaller picture.
It was through the practice of watching and waiting – and conversely of waiting and watching – in my forest garden that I learned everything that I have learned about what happens within it. Very slowly over the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years the bigger picture has assimilated itself within me.
As an illustration of watching and of waiting I have been taking daily photographs of the beautiful unfolding blossom on the cherry, pear and apple trees in the garden. The photos below are of the cherry – Cariad – from 9th to 22nd April and they speak for themselves. As it happened I chose to focus on the buds that would ultimately be almost the last to reveal fully opened blossoms and you can see the others opening in the background beforehand.
However I must add two caveats: Firstly that I am not a photographer and that the image is not placed in exactly the same way in succeeding day’s picture, but nevertheless you can clearly see the gentle, delicate unfolding of the blossom, almost imperceptible from day to day, but clearly marked over a relatively short space of time. And secondly that true watching is not accomplished by means of taking photos, to truly see you must only watch and wait and leave the camera behind.
And then what you see – ever clearer as time goes on – is life looking back at you.
Do less, see more, learn.