I suddenly find the normality of the wood shocking; it is so out of step with what is going on around me, around us all. Why is the ground not crumbling beneath my feet, the sky not grey? How can the buds in the trees be bursting into such delicate shades of green? I reach out to the smooth trunk beside me, press my cheek against the cool, smooth bark. As if from deep within the sycamore, I hear my own thudding heartbeat. The mass of the tree is so solid as I wrap my arms around it, the limestone immovable beneath my feet. I feel something beneath my fingers; anchored on the sheltered side of the trunk are tiny conical snail shells and spiralled millipedes. Here they have found a haven and for a short while, I share it with them.
To all my readers, keep safe and well at this time. I hope you are able to find your haven.