For the past four years I have been living and working in Nur-Sultan, the capital city of Kazakhstan. Nur-Sultan lies in the north of this vast country amidst the wide-ranging and almost endlessly flat Siberian Steppe. This, along with being right in the middle of the largest land mass on Earth makes for very cold winters and hot summers. Although this past winter has not been the coldest it did come early with a huge amount of snow and lots of grey cloudy days. It is only in the past weeks that signs of spring have been showing themselves. I am very fortunate to live beside the river looking over to one of the city’s many parks so I have a ringside seat – especially in these times of quarantine – to watch life come back to the land. Today in the middle of April the river is back to a reflective glassy surface and there are hints of the palest green on some of the trees. Grass is sprouting, bulbs are pushing through the dry earth – we are no longer trapped in a frozen wasteland. The days of being trapped in a monochrome land are over for another year. However we are trapped in a different way, all be it for our own safety and the safety of our communities. The time will come when we will be able to emerge from our hibernation but we will need to continue to be patient and be kind to ourselves and those around us.