It’s April and time for another post from Tara! Hi!
How are you these days? I hope that everyone is taking care of their physical and mental health these days. Despite the mixed opinions of Japan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is something to be grateful for – to still have the freedom to generally go about our daily business.
One thing that hasn’t stopped or shut down in the midst of the global situation these days, is nature! While we may not be able to fully go out and have a ‘cherry blossom viewing’ party or socialize under the pink clouds that is usual in Japan this time of year, there is still much to enjoy and see when out for a walk to get fresh air or stretch our legs. Since Japan has not (yet) gone into ‘lock down’ mode or taken on a “shelter in place” approach, we still have the chance to go outside and see the world.
I live near a man-made “river” that flows into larger rivers nearby. It’s a hot spot for the migrating ducks every year. In the few years that we have lived in the neighborhood, the number and variety of ducks has increased. Thus, I look forward to the spring season each year to see what nature will bring us. Usually, by the end of May or early June, we will start to see the ducklings as well.
Most of the time, we are busy rushing along the ‘river’ to get to work or go about our days. However, these days, since people are working from home more, kids are out of school and needing to escape the house, or people, in general, want to get out a bit, I have noticed people appreciating other aspects that nature has to offer.
Although the cherry blossoms often take center stage when it comes to signs of spring, I have found that there are so many other vibrant colors that show themselves as well. I captured these colors during one of my walks along the ‘river’.
In the news, there have been some lesser noticed articles on how nature is taking back spaces now that fewer people are roaming around. One is from The Guardian about animals returning to the canals in Venice. Another media source, RFI, based in France also notes how around the world there are more and more wild animals coming into cities since the people have basically disappeared.
It’s an interesting juxtaposition to consider: humans hiding indoors while the animals are out and about exploring.
My hope through all of is that we, humans, will recall our connection to nature, remember to appreciate the beauty around us, and not forget when life does eventually (as it will) a new normal.
As always, please stay safe and healthy out there!
Until next month ~
go about our daily business
– This means to continue with our normal lives such as go to work, buy groceries, take kids out to play, etc.
e.g. Whether we realize it or not, it is a luxury in these days to be able to go about our daily business and not have to stay indoors all the time.
shelter in place
– Usually used for severe weather warnings, this has recently been applied as a safety measure for people to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic. The main idea is that people do not need to evacuate to an emergency shelter, but keep safe and secure where they already are.
e.g. Only local officials can call for a shelter in place order to ensure people do not go out where it is dangerous.
– This refers to a popular place.
e.g. Whenever there is a major gym fight on Pokemon Go, the nearby areas become a hot spot for participants.
taking center stage
– In the world of theater performances, the most important characters are in the center of the stage at the end of a performance to be given credit. This term applies to anything or anyone who gets the most attention from the intended audience.
e.g. Any time there is a baby in the room, it always takes center stage so that no other conversation can be had.
– This is a noun that suggests there is a contrast to the placement of two scenes, facts, or situations together.
e.g. The juxtaposition of these two images is striking showing how different countries stock different items on their supermarket shelves.
アメリカ育ちで日本で９年間英語を教えた経験あり。日本以外にもAbu Dhabiでも英語を教えていたベテランの先生です。 ヨガを教える資格も持っていてとてもアクティブで、「諦めずに頑張って」とモチベーションをくれる指導スタイルで人気。
座右の銘は「We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit」。