Shelter in place … lockdown … essentials … stay safe … track and trace … save lives …
It all sounds so desperate. So imposed. So limiting.
We all yearn to be out – to be free – to be together again – to do what we want to do – not what we cannot do.
I watched a bird the other morning. Sitting on its perch. A bird with the patience of a saint. I saw a fox. Freed of its “sheltering in place” until we humans have all gone to bed. Now free to roam earlier and forage sooner. I smell the scents of wildlife. Hear the sounds of not-us.
Along with the occasional alarm that seems to have found its own freedom to whee-haww-whee-haw with abandon.
I wonder why we are so needy.
We need toilet roll. Hand sanitiser. Flour. Gym equipment. We need skin-on-skin company. We need to know where our next this, our next that, our next everything is coming from and when. We need to know this and that and be able to do this and be able to go there. We need to break the rules just because we need to.
And we call this need “freedom”.
Friday afternoon. Another weekend rolling in. That two-day-downtime we live for. Now just another two days. We can’t even make the weekend special. We need “it” to be special (whatever that really means).
I am loving this period of my life. The fear of “catching it” now just another background thing. The absence of grandchildren compensated by pictures and video and calls that are truly wonderful! The stress of work and the desperation of not knowing whether tomorrow would come now just another day – with an evolving routine and rhythm both regular and soothing.
And four weeks in of living together but alone.
Mrs Paul never closer than six feet. Me in one bedroom, she in another. Me in one bathroom, she in another. No “skin-on-skin” for another eight weeks (at least).
And yet I notice Mrs Paul so much more.
How she adapts and creates. How she flows and finds the path of least resistance. How she notices me and all that I do. How she hears me and all the noises I never knew I made. How she accepts without complaint all the normal taken away. How she could rage and fret and stress and fight but doesn’t. Unlike so much “fighting” I read about each day – hear from neighbours and passers-by … all trying to turn back the tide – all trying to stop the sun rising and the moon setting. All trying to be somewhere they cannot be right now.
Most of all I see again the lady who lit up my heart and head and soul all those years ago. I see our children we made now adapting and finding a flow and rhythm of their own. I see our grandchildren so accepting of each day and whatever it brings.
And there is death. There is pain. There is the unknown.
Yet in the moment there is so much to love, so much to live for, so much to enjoy, so much to bathe-in, to breathe-in, to luxuriate-in.
I wonder why we yearn to be free of this time of our life – a time we will never have again. I wonder why we are so keen to make this freedom a prison. A prison we must escape in order to rush back to the preferred prison of diaries-never-enough-time-not-enough-sleep-so-much-stuff-to-buy-and-look-after-and-keep-safe.
I am loving this moment.
Have a great weekend!