we are getting used to this new life. I have the office set up in the back bedroom, work is work, home is home, all is well. We are at times getting tetchy with each other, little things that are unimportant suddenly feel large. Time without others focuses us on each other I guess. We are still laughing though so all is well.
We have been spending time in the garden, potting seeds in preparation for planting, and planting up potato sacks, these acts give us faith that Summer will follow Spring, that, in the end, all will be well.
It is lonely though, and a bit odd, each morning I look out onto our street and see no one moving about. Cars that are usually gone in daylight remain sat on driveways, this is good, people are doing what is needed, but everyone seems to be invisible. Online life goes on, a few new groups to join, positive posts, music and friendship across the WiFi, but isolation is isolating, we do at times feel alone, the lost connection with others obvious in it’s absence.
Last night we settled, as most nights, to watch the updates from government, to see how this story is developing. I am reminded of Mum telling us how the whole family would gather around the radio to hear the news from the front. Is this a war? It feels a little like it, here we all are, behind closed doors, keeping the germs at bay.
The news reader at seven o’clock is talking about a national clap and cheer for the front line warriors in this battle. Our nurses and doctors, and all the helping services, fighting on the front line to help those who are poorly. These are our troops, in this war of our time, the people who will make the biggest difference. Stand in your garden, at your window or on your doorstep and cheer, he said. Show our appreciation for the troops that heal not harm. I wasn’t sure, hubby less so than me. It won’t happen here, he said. Thinking about the closed doors and the empty street I was inclined to agree. But you never know.
At the appointed hour I duly opened the front door, ready to cheer or retreat, doing it alone would be weird, right? I had no idea what was about to happen. The noise came from all around, darkness meant the people were unseen, but the cheering and the whooping and the clapping, well it was just joyous. Hubby joined me and together we clapped and whooped and made a noise, our noise joining with others making a magnificent sound, suddenly our street was not empty at all. Instead the blank front doors and curtained windows were hiding people, just like us, and in a moment everything felt like it was going to be ok. The emotion was extraordinary and unexpected. Tears falling I found myself laughing and crying at the same time.
Later back in our living room we watched as the same experience was shared from across the country. Dozens of messages, videos and posts showing the same emotions at the same time. It really made me think. This country of ours is divided as never before, families have struggled with each others views, nationally the fight for who we are and what we want has played out across the media until most of us are unsure which way is up. Then here we are, all alone and actually all together.
No one knows how long this will last, but this morning when I looked out at the street, instead of feeling lonely I realised that behind each door is a family just like us, and maybe just maybe this shared experience will bring us closer together the longer we are apart.
Keep safe everyone, and wash those hands.