I don’t know what it is about daffodils but they’re such HAPPY flowers. The colour of a smile. Not that yellow is the actual colour of a smile (unless you have bad teeth) but it should be. I’m not going out much at present, but my husband came back from the supermarket again with a clutch of these yellow smiles, nodding from the corner of his shopping bag. And my heart lifted.
My heart lifts at other things too, mainly too-strong coffee or that feeling you get when you might have lost your keys or forgotten your friend’s birthday. I’ve been trying to teach my heart to lift at small things. I am hoping that by the time this is over, it will be a habit and will continue to do so.
Today we walked in a pretty village near where we live. I hadn’t been out for 10 days due to the cold triggering my asthma. It was such a pleasure wandering between ancient buildings in the fresh air, with the odd slant of sunshine bouncing off glass or brick. Views along the village street were a big old heart lifter.
The history of Fletching is interesting. It lies at one of the entrances to Sheffield Park, a beautiful National Trust Gardens and parkland. Fletching is listed in the Domesday Book and is widely thought to have been a medieval centre for bow and arrow production, possibly getting its name from the fletchers who attached the arrow feathers. Others say the name comes from an old English name meaning ‘settlement of the family of a man called Flecci.’
Things that lifted my heart: tales of the Jolly Butcher of Fletching who left money in his will to give local children a party, an annual Maypole event and a small brass in the church, in memory of a village glover along with an inscription of a pair of gloves. I read about this in our East Sussex Villages book, as the church was only open for prayer.
The church of St Andrew and St Mary the Virgin dates back to the twelfth century and in 1264, Simon de Montfort and his troops stopped to pray here before leaving for the Battle of Lewes where they defeated Henty III. It is the largest church in the area and is thought to have been originally constructed for the spiritual guidance of the lords of the manor.
There were quite a few people wandering around the village today, mainly with dogs or children, all looking eager and fresh faced. Everyone looked delighted to be out in in pale sunshine with other human beings within hailing distance, should they wish to hail them. We didn’t. But we appreciated the fact we could have if we’d wanted to. The atmosphere was really lovely. Who would have thought a year ago, that I would think of this as a special trip out?
On Friday, I received my weekly email from an organisation to whom I give feedback about the whole Covid thing. The theme on this occasion was the way I was feeling about the future. I was given a long list of things I might enjoy most out of Lockdown, including shopping, eating out, going to the theatre or cinema, visits to museums etc. I could only tick three. I spent a lot of time ticking and unticking things, then ticking them again. But it occurred to me today, in the spirit of small heart-lifters, that it won’t take a lot to make me happier. My family, the company of friends, my church – is all really.
On the way home, we stopped at a farm shop and bought marmalade, Camembert and a chicken and leek pie. I can tell you, in Lockdown, that’s pretty much as exciting as it gets.
So what are you looking forward to most? And what lifts your heart on a grey day? Do tell. It might help in the training of mine.