Lifting the Veil of Familiarity

Conversation with a friend a few days ago has prompted this blog. It seems that we are both arriving at the same conclusion – restrictions in our lives due to the Covid pandemic are making a number of folk reassess and value where they live.

We are looking at the familiar with new eyes – almost as if we are visitors; we are seeing things that previously we would have walked past and ignored. There are places that once had been accepted as everyday scenes but are now become more interesting. We look for the little things, spot previously ignored changes and enjoy observing the behaviour of birds in the garden.

People who previously hadn’t paid any heed to wildlife are now enjoying the pleasure of getting to know the habits and behaviour of ‘their’ Robin or Blackbird.


More joy is being found in the observance of an unusual visitor to the peanut feeder, or finding the patterns made by bird footprints in the snowy garden, the spoor of wild animals in the local woodland, or otters’ prints showing their regular route from burn to beach.

I can’t help but think of the opening lines of Auguries of Innocence By William Blake –

To see the world in a grain of sand

And a heaven in a wild flower

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.