My restorative surprise on the last day of this lost summer.

Final rays of sunshine in our garden on the last day of the lost summer of 2020

When I woke up this morning it dawned on me it was by some accounts the last day of summer. It feels like a lost summer. My mother-in-law commented later in the day that summer seems to have gone so quickly this year. The seasonal milestones of our national and local community life were missing. No Wimbledon, no Glastonbury or Reading festivals, no Notting Hill carnival, no local fun days.

Unexpectedly nonetheless the day held a strangely comforting surprise. As I walked with my wife and her mother in a little park near home we crossed a footbridge over the stream running through it. The stream is overgrown and rarely noticed. Today we stopped and looked down into the water and were amazed to see it was home to lots of fish. The first one I noticed was astonishingly substantial for such a seemingly minor water course.

The idea that nature restores us in times of disorientation is repeated often enough to feel trite. But today for me it proved true. Seeing that large fish with its secret life in a backwater of an unremarkable field in England worked for me somehow. I felt good even on the last day of this lost summer.

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