Friday 10 April 2020

Still In a Bubble

And so the lock-down days just merge one into the next and often I have no idea what day of the week it is. I wake up each morning to a blank canvas which I can splatter-paint as I please.

Believe me, I am super-thankful for my good fortune in suddenly having all this free time.  It is as if a fairy waved its magic wand over my busy life and Zap!.., without my even having to pack a suitcase,  I am on holiday. A "stay-cation" is the word newly-coined since lock-down insisted we all keep safe within our own four walls.

But how Coss and I wish we could visit and help out our son and daughter-in-law in Wellington. They are having to combine working online from home with looking after two kiddy-winkles, aged 3 years and baby just 9 weeks old.  Mum and Dad are sleep-deprived and so, of course, a task that is easily accomplished one day is hard slog the next if baby has cried half the night.

Their best pre-lock-down purchase was a trampoline and our little grand-daughter can bounce the equivalent of their back-yard to Pluto but still have plenty of bounce left over. How do you wear out a young child who is not even allowed to swing or slide at the local park?
Baby smiled properly for the first time during lock-down and we grand-parents were not there to burst with pride and smother him with kisses. His big sister holds tea-parties for teddy-bears, elephants and frogs but we are sadly unable to attend. But thank the Lord for technology! Coss and I can ambush our children's living-room by video, a Kermit-the-frog puppet on my right hand and plenty of kisses and waves from the left.  For Coss, who has yet to meet his baby grand-son, the video-times do his missing-out heart good. A bit of virtual bonding is going on in advance of the real visit when real cuddles can finally happen.

They are all doing well but, naturally, our daughter-in-law longs for some time-out. So does our son. When their batteries get low we cannot help recharge them.  Our bubbles cannot meet up and merge.

In even just a few months time, when life is way better, they will wonder if lock-down really was that challenging...did their wee cherub really howl that loud for that long on those very nights they most needed to drop their "over-it" heads on pillow?

We are all in the same boat - not only in New Zealand but all through the world, people's lives are necessarily restricted by the rules designed to protect us.  The sledge-hammer of Covid-19 has hit hard, especially in Italy, Spain and New York. Just watch the news, folk, to see how grim they have it.  New Zealand, be warned. Stay at home!

We are, thank God, allowed to go on walks so I make myself venture forth each morning to clear the cobwebs from my lethargic body and mind. Walking briskly, I feel calm settle in for the day. It is then that the harsh reality of Covid-19 "out there" is almost impossible to grasp. The sun is gently warm on my face, the sky a piercing blue with only a few wispy clouds. This district is peaceful at the best of times but now, with hardly any traffic on the road, I walk with abandon this way and that. Sometimes I even close my eyes and see how many steps I can take before I feel myself going crooked...(or get hit by the one car I didn't hear coming...!)

I take time to notice things. So, today, when I literally walked on top of dozens of beautiful sleek black and white dairy-cows ( they walked in a tunnel under the road from the milking-shed back to their paddock) I peered over, watched them idle past, inhaled their cow-smells, yes, even as they pooed in big slushy heaps and urinated in sudden gushes like unblocked sinks.

And then I wondered why the different colour tags in their ears? This one mated? That one not? This one placid in the cow-shed? That one a delinquent? Good udder there? Poor milk from that one?

Sometimes we just don't know stuff and that's OK.

But we must know this - Viruses run their course. Crying babies grow up.  Hideous lock-down haircuts grow out and, one day, the memory of standing in a ridiculously long queue at the supermarket wearing a face-mask will be, pun intended, sneezed at.

What we fret about one season is often resolved by the next, or if not, we have hopefully discovered who our real friends are - they are the ones who put on their virtual gumboots and wade with us through our muddy times for as long as it takes.

As Jacinda would say, be kind.

This too shall pass.

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