The swallows will be leaving soon. Walking alone through the birch, oak and alder down by the river, a cooler autumnal edge to the evening air, I thought about a man in his seventies I had seen on the news back in the spring. Standing beneath the trees in his local park surrounded by daffodils, he talked about his recovery from coronavirus and his return home from hospital. He didn’t say much about the details of the illness, but he spoke of how grateful he was to be there enjoying the breeze, the warmth of the sun on his skin, and the sweet scent of spring flowers.

His story was a deeply ...


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