These are unprecedented times. As I type those words, I cannot help but think of another unprecedented time when the world faced a different peril. I’ve often wondered if I’d been alive then, would I have had what it takes to be extraordinary…. just as those working in health care services all over the world are doing right careworkers fighting corona virus

I have no medical skills to offer but maybe I can send a little cheer through words and photos taken at this time of year from the special places that I’m so privileged to say are part of my life.

From California

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from the air

Carmel Beach, Carmel-by-the-sea, California

Lake Tahoe California, skiing at Northstar

to England

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Windmill inEnglish church and letter box at Snowhill in The Cotswolds, UK

and a tiny village where church bells tell the time.

Lourmarin roof tops, where church bells tell the time

Families were torn apart eighty years ago, their loved ones fighting a battle few could understand. Today the world is confronting a different menace, one that’s also difficult to understand. One that separates us, people feel isolated and scared, unable to leave their homes, bewildered by this unseen enemy.

But we can still connect with each other; social media and conference video tools allow us to see each other’s smiles across the continents and they’re free. Last night all across France church bells rang in a sign of unity. I was sent this from my lovely village of Lourmarin, where the bells I hear across the roof tops I see from my terrace (above) sung too, it was snowing, frozen tears of unity….

This morning heart was warmed listening to Australia’s Couch Choir created from over 1000 videos from across the world.

“There’s so many people feeling isolated at the moment … we can’t be near each other, and Couch Choir is a solution to that.” Astrid Jorgensen creator of Couch choir.

Inspiring ideas spread fast, even before I published this I was sent this link to a similar choir singing in Boston at the Berklee College of Music.

Many of us can still take a walk and feel fresh air on our faces. I’m so blessed with views like this, to be in a beautiful open space minutes from my own front door.

View of Mt Diablo, Danville, California

Take joy from the natural beauty that maybe you’ve never really appreciated before.

Cherry blossoms in Lourmarin, Luberon, Vaucluse, Provence, France

Everyone everywhere is asking the same question, when will it be safe for life to return to normal? I wish I knew. I wish I could wake up in the morning to a new day when none of this was happening. Everything looks the same but everything’s changed, for now….

It’s essential we all do our part, that we stop the virus spreading, washing our hands correctly, adhering to social distancing and quarantining if we become sick. However frustrating this might be if we don’t follow this advice someone might die, lots of someone’s.

Difficult times often bring out the best in people. Today I learned about a volunteer group #STUDENTSAGAINSTCORONA started by college students in England but now spreading across the world. Thank you to them and others; those who are shopping for neighbors, delivering them medications and essential supplies. Thank you to those who are still working trying to preserve important services, to those who have come out of retirement to support health care systems, and to those who have turned their skills to make things at home like much needed face masks. Maybe some of these people feel they’re only making a tiny difference but together they’re making a big one.

Winston Churchill an insiring leader

We have no one who can mobilize the English language and send it in to battle. Few leaders who clearly communicate, reassure and inspire us with hope for a brighter future. If we did, I’m sure we’d be told as I am telling you now that if each and every one of us does our part all will be well….. eventually and it will.

Stay safe, stay well, fight coronavirus. Hope still waits at the end of the rainbow.