When one of my cats brings in a dead rodent I believe they see it as a gift or maybe a triumph of skilful hunting. I view it a lot less favourably.

Most of the time, like everyone else, I am trying to hold it all together. Keeping things familiar and living in a little bubble of my own making; coffee made in the way I preferred, meeting up with people I know well and like (remember that?), sitting in my favourite chair – just the type of ordinary habits we all have in arranging the world around us.

The COVID virus and subsequent lockdown turned things upside down. Our normal way of holding things together was made more awkward and maybe even impossible. The ground was pulled out from under our feet and anxiety levels rose correspondingly. But moments like this, when our world is turned upside down by grief, illness or other sudden unplanned changes, also show how we add extra meaning and concepts onto places and people in our lives, and see them differently from how they actually are. When our bubble bursts, what was important may be less so; equally, what was seemingly a dull part of the day can now be seen as crucial.

A mindfulness practice can be a fantastic tool at junctures like these. The practice of letting go, of seeing feelings and thoughts arise and pass is just the preparation needed to notice and pay attention to the fluid and interconnected nature of things and events that lies behind the fixed labels we like to place on them. Such a looser view can also allow a freedom and even joy for life that wasn’t there previously.

It might even help me be less disgusted at the rodents my cats bring in. Maybe.

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