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Louise King collates our words of gratitude amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A ‘diamond’ (a puddle of water) in the middle of a plant.

At the beginning of April, we launched a Gratitude Thread on Slack to reflect and keep a track of all the good things in life. No matter how uncertain, strange, challenging and stressful life is at the moment, there is always something to be grateful for.  

We asked: what brings you joy, comfort, hope or a sense of normality? Now is the time for expressing gratitude, enjoying quality time and showing appreciation. Staff and students were invited to be mindful of the little things, as well as the big things, that they are grateful for throughout their day.

our reflections on gratitude 

'I’m grateful for the weather! It’s been a big mood boost to look outside and see sunshine and to be able to open the back doors and have some fresh air!'

'I’m grateful for the creative ways you can have fun with friends over video chat! We are better at staying in touch now than we have ever been.'

'The little things, still eating freshly baked bread on a Saturday, now delivered by the bakers as the market is no longer open, bring a sense of normality.'

'I am grateful for the blossom on my apple tree, especially as last year there was none. Everyday there is more and more apple blossom and I love watching its transformation. The tree has revived itself, not only signifying the start of spring and promising an abundance of apples, but also the blossom brings a wonderful feeling of renewal and hope. Update: the tree is now covered in apples.'

'I am grateful for the extra time to connect with nature. I often take a mindful walk around my garden. I like to feel the grass beneath my bare feet, hear the birdsong, and watch the insects going about their business. On my latest meditative stroll, I noticed something glistening in the flower bed. On closer inspection, I saw a ‘diamond’ in the middle of a plant. It was in fact a little puddle of water from the night before.' (See picture above). 

'I am grateful for my beautiful surroundings close to my home. Two rivers, one marina, one lock, several parks, many country lanes, bridle paths and meadows. I find water calming and wide-open spaces energising. I have always loved walking and cycling for pleasure, and I feel blessed that I can still go outdoors and enjoy fresh air and exercise.' 

'I am appreciating my peaceful (except for some noisy chickens and cows occasionally!) scenic environment out of my office window at home in Long Hanborough.'

'I appreciate evening walks with my husband round local footpaths seeing the lock-down weeks being marked by the progression of flowers from bluebells to wild garlic then buttercups everywhere then poppies and daisies. Unfortunately, it’s now the grasses causing hay-fever!  The soundtrack of birds, lambs, chickens has been ongoing with noisy cows being the recent addition!'

'I appreciate my very early morning runs around a deserted "closed to the public" Blenheim.'

'I appreciate Microsoft Teams - why did we not use this before??? - both for efficient working and catching up with work friends.'

'I appreciate not having my day dictated by Great Western Railway schedule. I have noticed I have actually stopped wearing a watch!!' 

'I’m grateful for breath of fresh air, family and good friends, home life and for good managers.'

'I’m grateful that we can go to other people’s gardens now! It’s been lovely being allowed back outside and seeing the people I’ve missed most.'

What are you grateful for?

As you can see from the reflections shared above, there are many things to appreciate and be grateful for during this time. We would love to hear your reflections on gratitude too. Please share in the comment box below (please log in using your SSO credentials) or email Louise King

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