Think Twice. Looking back to the first lockdown.

A time of great upheaval, uncertainty abounds. Fragile. The world swept of its feet both globally and personally. Strange times. Worries about the mental as well as physical stability of the self. A need for structure. Things to achieve. Things to give purpose. To be positive. The diary is now filled with the planned itinerary for the day.

Item one

  The front garden. Sky, bright and blue. Summer like in spring. Tools at the ready. The warmth on fingers, carefully placing the young plants in the sunned soil. The interest of passers hungry for conversation. The giant elephant filling this place is silently acknowledged by remaining a safe distance on both  sides  of the low wall.

 A diversion. Fresh words on the task in hand. Discussion. Comments on the impending growth of the flowers. A new kindness, an intimacy allowed but not too long. Stranger friendship. Uncommon familiarity the parting wishes by each to “Stay Safe.”

Item Two

The move to the back garden, mower, shears etc at the ready. Less car noise more birdsong. The knee goes, the splinter of bone floating around catches again. Awaiting a date for the operation. Today that is irrelevant. It will clear move elsewhere shortly but just now too painful to continue. The tools are grudgingly returned home.

Item three.

Writing. Pencils lost and found. A bundle, elastic banded, located in the, (every home has one ) drawer thats filling goes unnoticed. Things which are redundant or have no other place to go. Brian’s last year’s birthday candles amongst them, a reminder this year’s is soon.

Sun heating up. The old felt writing hat, a ritual, a wisdom enhancer for the pencil and mind? A placebo? And today also a bald head protector. The soft cushioned garden chair, unfolded. A robin wanders beneath it, beaking the old stale crumbs that have fallen.

Pencils at the ready along with the bonus find from that ‘drawer’. A yellow plastic pencil sharpener. Sunshine, a strong tea, comfy chair. The  excitement of glorious blank pages to fill. Contentment.

Item three aborted.

Next door descend on the peace noisily from their patio. The not far enough  distant sound of Distant Drums. The first of the twenty tracks from the Best of Jim Reeves. Experience informs me the rest will fill the next hour or so. Contentment  postponed.

Item four

The daily walk cancelled because of the  injured knee. The substitution an hour reading upstairs in the bedroom. Arriving the door handle comes away, a screwdriver needed, a journey back downstairs to that ‘drawer’. The news on the radio confirms the latest toll.

Item five

Reflection. Standing listening. Stopping the frustration. Self reprimanding as I am well. Thanking God for the day he’d planned. No diary tomorrow. Realising that the day like today already has its own plan.

Don Russell      Nov 2020