**Words by Amber L-J**
The gentle reflection of the water, and of the mind.
Exercise has become so integral to lockdown life, with countryside walks becoming a social visit to those outside of family.
We walk for hours and chat along those canal paths, takeaway coffees and dog leads in hand. Our furry companions are so happy that we work from home, their need for affection and fresh air satisfied.
Most of us have struggled under the bizarre circumstances of a worldwide pandemic, often feeling like characters of a dystopian novel. Everyone has made sacrifices, but so rare is it that we share the same reason for doing so. There is a strange comfort in unity. Each begrudgingly slow step of the past year has now led to enormous leaps in modern medicine, and a new compassion within the community.
The end appears nigh, as we hope to throw our masks up like the graduation caps and celebrate a long, carefree summer.
As autumn returns, perhaps we should hold onto the masks from the bitter wind, and a bittersweet memory which we battled through.
**Articles continued on Page Two**