I think it’s taken the last year and a global pandemic for me to fully appreciate nature in all it’s glory. I certainly don’t think I’ve ever taken as many pictures of trees!

The last year has been one of deep reflection for me and personal growth. This has been a big positive. I’ve had the space to make changes in my life that will continue long after we return to some type of normality. It’s only taken a lockdown for that to happen!

A lot of our choices have been taken away this year, however, I’ve found that when there’s not a lot you can do the little things have taken on even greater importance.

One thing most of us have been able to do is get outside to exercise and for me that’s been lots of walking. I’ve never walked so much and so consistently - sometimes on my own and sometimes with a family member and friend. Many of these walks have probably been informal walk and talk therapy sessions for me and I can certainly see how this type of therapy would work. I think moving your body in a natural flow encourages your mind to flow naturally too. At least that’s my experience - my family would probably say I talk too much!

I’ve found that nature has a way of inspiring a natural delight and joy. Marvelling at the majestic beauty of a particular tree, the reflection of the sun on the water, the squirrels, the birds and the flowers - I could go on!

Nature has also helped me to look at things in different ways - literally! All the walks I’ve previously done close to home and I’ve never noticed that house with the funny window and the hidden gate. It’s certainly encouraged me to view things through different eyes in all situations.

I especially like the picture that I submitted with this piece. It was taken by my sister on a long walk that we took together in a local country park. My daily yoga practice has really helped me this year and what better way to practise tree pose than by standing on a tree!