Posted: by Jo Thursday, 23 April 2020 @ 07:14
We are now a few weeks into lockdown, and what is most noticeable to me is the vastly different array of experiences people are going through.
Some, on the medical front line, are returning from work exhausted, with barely any time to rest; others, on the supermarket or delivery front line, are returning home relieved to get another busy day out of the way; others are doing their best with home schooling, while trying to work from home at the same time; while others are enjoying some relaxing downtime as they are furloughed from work, appreciating spending time at home.
It will be a strange time to look back on, as people’s experiences of living through it are all so different.
But one thing is clear: our Mantra customers are as loving, appreciative, thoughtful and kind as ever. We see all the loving messages you ask to be written on the cards that go out with our jewellery, and all the heart-felt messages you ask us to engrave – and it is truly heart-warming.
When people can’t be together in person, a meaningful gift sent through the post, with a personal message explaining why you chose that particular mantra, is a thoughtful substitution. How wonderful to receive a necklace with the message, “The sun always rises. It shines through the darkness. It comes from within. It's always there, if sometimes hiding”, or “We may be apart, but you are always in our hearts”.
We are manning our Mantra office for three to four hours each day, with just two of us, to keep on top of orders. As a small business owner, I am thrilled that many of you are placing orders, as it all helps to contribute to keeping the economy going, even in a small way; and as someone with a firm belief in the power of words, then I am also thrilled that our jewellery is bringing people comfort and inspiration in these tough times.
I am keeping my own diary of learnings from lockdown, as it will be easy when this is over to forget some things. And an appreciation of our parks is just one of those things!
Walking through the park
Walking through the park in Leamington this morning, as a brisk bit of exercise before I came into the office, I stopped to really pay attention to the vast array of tulips which have been carefully planted in Leamington’s Victorian park, Jephson Gardens.
I see the flowers every year, and notice their vivid colours – but I don’t think I have ever truly appreciated the effort, time, money and commitment that goes into making these gardens so beautiful. Or truly recognised how lucky we are to have them in the town, particularly now.
Reading more about it, this beautiful Victorian pleasure garden was opened in the 1830’s and thrived for over a century - but fell into a state of disrepair by the 1990’s. The gardens were fully restored in 2003, which was the year I moved to Warwickshire – so I have only ever seen them in their fully restored glory. They went on to win ‘Best Park in Britain’ in 2005.
The restoration and ongoing upkeep shows a real commitment from our local council to prioritise civic open spaces – parks – as places of beauty, relaxation and enjoyment for the local population. During lockdown, with so many people living in flats or small properties with little outside space, the park has become something so much more important. A shared space to enjoy exercise and fresh air, safely; a place of escape and sanctuary; and a symbol of freedom.
Appreciating green spaces
I will never again fail to appreciate the green spaces we have around us, and the dedication and commitment of all involved in prioritising, planting and maintaining those beautiful gardens every year.
As lockdown continues, there are no Mantra events to talk about, and no new collaborations to launch. But there is a huge appreciation from us for each and every one of our customers and followers, who see Mantra as the uplifting and inspiring brand we set out to create.