This column is the second in a series by artist Yokomizo Shizuka, who lives in London. She weaves together photographs and text to show us what she sees through her windows as the everyday changes dramatically. In this second column, her topic is the sense of “waiting,” in the everyday before and after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
From my kitchen window I can see the huge conifer in my next door neighborʼs garden. During the day, the shadow of that huge tree falls mostly on our side. During the lockdown, we were blessed with good weather so that when the sun was out, the girls who live next door would bring out their deck chairs and sunbathe in their garden, all day long.
As spring turned into early summer, lots of birds flocked to that big conifer. At the top are branches that somewhat resemble the shape of a rooster weathervane. When I saw that a bird had happened to land on the branch that was like the head of the rooster, I would sit in my kitchen chair, invisible to the girls sunbathing below, and stare at the bird through my binoculars. The birds sitting on the branches were most often blackbirds or wrens, commonly seen birds. But the blackbird who was sitting at the top of the tall tree surveying the world around it, with the sky as its background, looked rather proud. When I open my window, I hear the sounds of children playing. The airplanes have disappeared from the sky. There is no noise from cars on the street. All I hear are the voices of the birds and the children, and the sounds of everyday life from next door. It feels so much like a summer holiday.