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Editor's Viewpoint

Thought for the weekend

Editor's Viewpoint



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'Part of my adjustment has been to turn necessity into a virtue and to take my daily allowance of exercise by getting out on my bike.'

'Part of my adjustment has been to turn necessity into a virtue and to take my daily allowance of exercise by getting out on my bike.'

'Part of my adjustment has been to turn necessity into a virtue and to take my daily allowance of exercise by getting out on my bike.'

I hope, dear reader, that you and yours are keeping well and managing to cope amid this pandemic crisis. For many, it's a tragedy. For all, a fearful drama.

'Adjustment' is too bland a word for our new enforced routines. A crunching gear-change has come upon most, if not all, of us.

It is quite surreal to think that we now consider ourselves a threat to each other and that life is confined in ways we could never have imagined.

Part of my adjustment has been to turn necessity into a virtue and to take my daily allowance of exercise by getting out on my bike.

I'm fortunate to have many winding country roads around where I live, and with less cars around, I've been enjoying my hour-long cycles.

A vague aspiration to get out on the bike more often has now become a welcome imperative, a highlight of the day, with good weather thrown in as a bonus.

I've no pretensions to being a proper roadster, one of those people who crack on at top speed in determined fashion.

For me, it's about the joy of taking the time to take it all in at my own leisurely pace - the radiance of spring's green birth, bathed in afternoon light; the chorus of birdsong, with its chirps, chatters, trills, whistles and calls; the feeling of the wind rushing on your face; the way in which you notice what you normally miss as you rush past in a car; and the exertion and exhilaration of going up and down the drumlins of this part of the world.

My one main additional aim is to look for buzzards, because I've always had a love of raptors.

I've feel especially blessed when I hear their distinctive haunting call, watch them spiral and soar on warm thermals and spot them perched on wooden telegraph poles of the same tawny colour, their muscular profile silhouetted against a sapphire sky.

RS Thomas wrote in his poem The Bright Field that "Life is not hurrying/on to a receding future, nor hankering after/an imagined past. It is the turning/aside like Moses to the miracle/ of the lit bush, to a brightness/that seemed as transitory as your youth/once, but it is the eternity that awaits you".

Belfast Telegraph