Laid low by a stomach upset this week, I didn’t write a blog which has become part of my weekly pattern during lockdown. It has been one way of keeping some contact with those who have an interest in Methodist Women in Britain. As we are now starting to emerge from our confined places, and life is increasing in business, I may not write quite so often. I will still endeavour to write fairly often though.
My most recent excursion took me to Milford on Sea on the South coast. My husband and I walked along the front, westward , until the path was closed due to a landslip further along. So, we retraced our steps and walked eastward, pausing to listen to the gentle waves breaking on the shore. Few people were on the beach. The majority of people were either sitting on the benches, which overlook the sea, or striding out along the significant spit adjoining the land. Milford provides perhaps the clearest view of The Needles, off the end of the Isle of Wight, that can be found anywhere. The day was clear and the view sharp with the guarding lighthouse easily visible. Out in the bay were moored a number of cruise liners, awaiting their opportunity to resume providing holiday pursuits. I wondered about the crews stranded there, or others maybe furloughed on shore, but perhaps away from their own homes. The ships are there because it is quite safe, and it is cheaper for the companies than berthing in the main docks.
I couldn’t help but reflect on so many lives disrupted and altered, by the pandemic, in so many parts of the world. I found myself reflecting on how much permanent change to our ways of life, particularly in the west, will come about. The benefits to nature have been documented, and many of us have enjoyed the reductions in noise and pollution, along with opportunities to see aspects of nature more closely than previously. Yet, many conservation projects have been forced to halt their efforts, at least for a time, so as ever seems the way, a balance needs to be sought. The situation is complex, and magic solutions will not be available. It will take many people who are determined to create a better way of living and are prepared to live more sustainably for the long term, to bring about change over a period of time. Plus, it will need governments to recognise the value of things other than personal money and power, to really move things forward fast enough to make significant improvement. However, governments do respond when enough people let them know their views as they hope not to lose votes! Therefore, ultimately, each of us has some power to influence change. I pray that the future will look brighter.