Over the last two weeks, blackbirds have been sky-scrapping over my garden throughout each day. One declares this is his territory, another enters, a chase ensues, then the fighting begins. It's spectacular to watch, but it has a relentlessness to it I've not seen before. I'm sure in the past one has given up, but not this time. Of course it may not be the same ones every time. I get the joy of having the winner singing from dawn to dusk anyway.
It's things like this that keep me going at the moment. It may not have been obvious from my off-beat humour and joyful tweets, though possibly more so from my more negative poetry, that I've been suffering from anxiety and depression for some time now. And it too seems relentless. It's got worse in the last few months and I have sought help - which will kick in any month now, such is the demand for help at the moment. In the meantime, I veer from real lows to somewhat forced and very temporary highs.
Strangely, in the last few weeks, I have taken some of the incredibly negative writing I've been churning out for months and months, and am turning it into something more positive. There is still an underlying sadness and fear but it also has hope. I had previously tried to find, in my vast pile of writing, some poems that were positive. I didn't find many. I submitted those to a competition and was shortlisted. That was a positive in itself. And it is clear that people want hope right now - well, always, obviously. So I thought I'd try it on myself. If I can write it, maybe I can believe it. Some days it works. I'll keep fighting.
Other moments that work : a robin or a dunnock drinking or splashing in the bird bowl, house sparrows trying to decide whether to keep the feather they've collected or eat from the feeders (feeder always wins), blue tits and great tits in food relays across the garden, a magpie on daily patrol for insects, or bringing in bread from somewhere else and dunking it in the bowl before eating, a kestrel hovering over the distant fields, or a rare low fly-over by a heron. And, of course:
blackbird's song at dawn,
blackbird's song at dusk