My most recent column for The Wokingham Paper:
It’s Mother’s Day. I had plans to go and visit my Mum today, maybe head out somewhere for lunch. But of course, this will not be the case. No unnecessary family visits. And no where to go for lunch anyway. We’re on lock down, and those words are just as dramatic as they sound.
It’s a strange and scary time and no one has all the answers, not even the scientists. We can’t control the situation, but we can control the small but powerful part we each play in it.
It’s amazing how in a crisis, we see this shift in people, and all the things that don’t really matter fall away, until we’re left with what truly does.
This is all a rather stark reminder of our common humanity. How we are only human, and how we can’t survive without each other. The definition of the word compassion is literally “to suffer together”. Now whilst having to stay at home hardly equates to suffering for most of us, we don’t know what “self-isolate” might mean for some people. For those suffering domestic abuse who have nowhere to go, for the elderly who rely on a sense of community to keep them going, for those in frontline jobs that can’t go home to their spouses with chronic-illnesses. The list goes on. I miss seeing my friends and I know it’s going to be challenging home-schooling Maia whilst trying to work, but I’m one of the lucky ones.
Whilst this is not an easy time, I do think it is a time for reflection, for counting our blessings, for having compassion for the vulnerable. It’s stopping to think whether there’s anything we can do for someone else, albeit from a distance. One small act of kindness.
This will all be over eventually, we’ll slowly pick up the pieces and move on with our lives, but will we have learnt all that we can from it? Will we see things a little differently? Will we remember what’s really important?
I like to think perhaps many of us will learn to be a little less selfish at times, less self-centred, myself included.
Looking outward, will we learn to appreciate and take better care of our beautiful planet?
Will we remember what the natural environment did for us during this time? I’ve never been more grateful for a walk in the woods with the sun shining. We can’t pile into pubs and restaurants at the moment, but we can spend time in nature for free. Will we continue to destroy our planet at the rate we have been?
I hope we can look back on this time as a period of growth and change. A wake up call, that the way we are living has to change.
As for Mother’s Day, I received some gorgeous flowers, a wonderful handmade card and some Mini Eggs. The sun shone and Maia played happily with her rainbow balloon in the garden for a while before we all got into bed together and watched Friends, munching on said Mini Eggs. In those moments, isolating with my people, I definitely felt like one of the lucky ones.