When our first lockdown was introduced in March 2020 I knew I was going to find the coming weeks (as I naively thought then!) rather tough. I would miss my social life, my cinema visits, my travels and little treats such as coffee or breakfast in our favourite local haunts. I also knew that I would be helped enormously by focusing on the smaller pleasures of life: a sunset, a pretty flower, birdsong, a message from a friend …
One morning early on in the lockdown I had an idea. I’m very active on Facebook with quite a wide circle of friends from different aspects of my life. They include Virtual Tourist members, former work colleagues, old school friends, people met on my travels, fellow bloggers and others from photography groups. They would be facing similar challenges, I knew. So why not share those smaller pleasures with each other to maximise their impact? And so my Facebook group, One Small Thing, was born.
I set up the page with this explanation:
The idea of this group is to share one small thing each day that has given you a lift in these challenging times. We can’t all do the ‘big’ things we might have done in the past – go to the cinema or theatre, meet friends for lunch, go to the pub or the match, book a holiday. But we can still all find the little pleasures, if we look. And if we share them, in words or a photo or both, we can give each other a morale boost as well as ourselves.
I invited my friends, and many joined. Some then invited their friends and so the group grew. I expected it to last a few months at most, just as I expected the pandemic to be over in a year. I was wrong on both counts! Today our community of 300+ members is going strong; some post daily, some occasionally and some simply enjoying the posts of others. I’m moved by those who tell me how much the group has helped them.
My ‘one small things’
So for Amy’s Lens Artists Challenge theme of Every Little Thing I thought I’d share some of the photos I’ve posted to the group myself in the last few years; things that made me and other members smile!
In an Ealing garden, April 2020
In South Ealing cemetery, April 2020
Swan in a local park, June 2020
First visit to a pub after the initial lockdown ended, July 2020
Clouds at sunset from my back door, July 2020
Clematis seed head, September 2020
My hairdresser’s cat, Basil, October 2020
Tufted duck in a local park, November 2020
Lichen on a neighbour’s wall, January 2021
Camelia in an Ealing garden, February 2021
Goslings in Walpole Park, May 2021
Rose with raindrops, June 2021
Teasels at Brimham Rocks, August 2020
Japanese garden at Kew, October 2020
Winter walk by the Thames in Brentford, December 2020
Other group members have shared garden flowers, family visits, craft projects, pets, country walks and much much more. It all goes to show how many small things there are that brighten our days yet are too rarely talked about. Maybe the pandemic has helped to increase our awareness of, and gratitude for, them?