What is keeping your spirits up during the current Covid-19 crisis? Lots of us who remain mercifully unaffected by the illness seem to have found this amazing (and unseasonal) April weather, the Spring itself, and our gardens the things that have kept us sane. It has been a joyous few weeks – if our minds have managed stay off the dreadful way the virus has already scythed through 20,000 lives. T S Eliot wrote that ‘human kind cannot bear very much reality’: and it’s by seeking solace away from pain and death that we survive.
So here’s today’s good news: for the first time since 1416, apparently, three pairs of white storks are nesting in West Sussex, and their eggs are expected to hatch in May. Had this story appeared on 1st April, I’d have suspected it to be an April Fool – rather like the story of the wild goats roaming around Llandudno (though come to think of it, that turned out to be true!). I first saw storks in Alsace, France, back in the 1960s, and little thought we’d ever have them here again. They are remarkable creatures. Tree-top nesters, they are supplied with spire-top platforms in Alsace, but here they’ve avoided man-made platforms and instead chosen to create their nest in the top of a massive oak tree. Even as lives are being lost, new life is being created. What did they say about Easter?