I hope you are all well and keeping safe in these challenging times.
I have been thinking about where we are, how we got here and what is next for us all, and it seems to me that we should be enormously proud of ourselves. Proud of the kindness, the consideration, of making the effort. Proud of making a difference, getting stuck in, carrying on or trying something new.
I cannot remember a time when I have said ‘here’s an idea to pass the time’… pass the time? When did we ever need to find things to pass the time – until now. The contrast to normal life is immense but I think we can all benefit and learn from it, respect it and remember it.
In my personal situation I ‘should’ be on leave this week and in Cornwall, celebrating my daughter’s birthday with her and her partner. But they are there, and we are here, and Cornwall has never seemed so far away. In March we missed going to London, staying with our elder daughter and her husband. But they are there, and we are here, and London has never seemed so far away. We have missed days out with friends, and a long-awaited trip to Budapest. All cancelled, for now. A wedding cancelled, possibly two, our niece’s 21st birthday…
But, do you know what, it really doesn’t matter. Because when being close to someone becomes a potential weapon, and when staying at home becomes an act of consideration, all that really matters is being kind, and doing the right thing.
Science will save us, but we must be patient and give it time. We will, soon enough, return to our previous lives, and we will all, I believe, be richer for this experience, having had chance to take stock of what is truly important. We will have enjoyed not setting the alarm clock, not having that constant sense of urgency but instead filling our days by ‘passing the time’. And being grateful.
Like many people, I started this lockdown thinking about how, at the end of it, I would be fitter, slimmer, with perfectly organised kitchen cupboards and a beautiful garden. Now, as it seems that the end of the lockdown is getting ever closer, none of those things have happened and I have no idea where the time has gone!
My hope is that maybe, after this, we will not make so many plans, will not feel the need to be quite so busy or worried about missing out. We will have learned instead to enjoy life at a slower pace and to appreciate those things that matter most to us. Our families, our friends, our communities, our time.
For those of us who will be blessed to come through this unscathed and without real loss, let’s remember to remember that we are all guests here. The earth will keep revolving without us and without our busyness and our plans, and good health is absolutely everything.
‘Live in the uncertainties my dear. Invent little moments inside those maybe’s and grow there.’
Today’s cultural challenge is to learn about sustainable farming practices at Chatsworth: