If you look outside your window today, what do you see? Stillness? Serenity? Traffic? Is the neighbours dog running around the garden or are there some birds eating the food you put out. For me it is stillness, my neighbours are not out, the snow is still on the ground and the street is all calm, in my garden however, there are a number of birds about.

Whilst the snow melts and your snowman slowly fades away, take a moment to look outside and notice whats going on. This had now become part of my day and I love it. Before being at home all the time, I used to throw open the curtains, look outside, enjoy the view and get on with my day. I didn’t pay attention to anything other than my day ahead and looking outside was a quick formality.

Being forced to slow down, not leave the house much and do the usual things has been interesting, I casually started watching the birds in my garden when I worked. I would glance up and notice the birds, I didn’t pay too much attention really. But each day I sat there, I’d enjoy looking out and seeing what they were up to in that moment. It could be a pigeon eating all the seed or a blue tit looking around or the territorial robin chasing the other small birds away. But I’m noticing more now, paying attention to what’s outside, right in front of me and not just the view.

This week I was working and glancing up at the garden every so often as I normally do, when I spotted a bird I had never seen in my garden before. It was a song thrush. This visitor was new and I watched it bounce about looking for food. It was beautiful. It found a snail, then began smashing it against a stone to unhouse the poor thing. Three things at this point occurred to me.

The first was that over the course of nearly 11 months, I had randomly discovered a new hobby which I found to be relaxing, enjoyable and fascinating – it was all happening in my garden. Purely by setting up my desk at my table I’d started to observe the outdoors unintentionally. I would never have thought of myself as a bird watcher, but knowing how excited I was to see that song thrush I’d realised just how much I was loving it.

The second thing is that I noticed a new bird. I spotted that bird and instantly knew it was not one I’d seen in my garden before. Funnily enough a few months earlier, I noticed blackbirds began appearing, and I’d never seen them at all there, up till that point, which always surprised me. Being made to work from home, really has made me look outside differently than before. I appreciate nature and what it brings, the birds carry on regardless, as do the squirrels and the mouse I saw….it’s all happening right on my doorstep.

The third and final thing I realised was we take everything for granted outside, the views, the trees, the wildlife and we go about our day barely thinking about them. I love the view from our bedroom window, looking out over the Forth, the sunrises can be spectacular, but I rarely look straight down and see what is happening in my garden or in my street. These things that I could effectively reach out and touch, I brushed off. But how important is nature, they all play their part and being able to watch them is fascinating. Not everyone has a garden, so not everyone can see these things or live in areas where birds are in abundance. So if you do, enjoy it and know how lucky you are.

Being forced to slow down and be at home, has been very hard for all of us, or the majority of us at least. But I imagine, so many of us have been looking outside and watching the world around us more, seeing what is just there in front of us. You may live on a busy street with lots of people walking past daily and you see the same familiar faces or you live next to lots of shops or takeaways and you now know the regulars to the chip shop. It doesn’t matter what you see, but by looking out and just noticing takes us into this moment, realising there is a whole world out there and going about its day.

So if you get too engrossed in your work and have barely looked up in the last 10 months or so, then start this week. Look at what comes in your garden, or who walks past your window, I don’t mean for you to take notes or be creepy but just glance up every so often to see what’s happening. Even just watching the clouds pass by can be relaxing and can give your brain a break from work.

Have a lovely week, go about it in a loving way, be kind to all and look after you.

Love Emma xx

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