Updated: Aug 2
It was my grandson's birthday, 21 March 2020, it became evident our lives were about to change. Suddenly we were to stay home, only leave if it was deemed "essential". We were instructed to keep two metres apart, wear face coverings and use hand sanitiser regularly. These measures were to protect us and keep those we love safe.
Working in retail I was expected to continue working, I questioned a bakery being deemed "essential", fear and anxiety reaching its peak as I looked at my customers as I'd never viewed them before, did they have Covid? Was I at risk of becoming infected and being held victim to the pandemic?
The streets became eerily quiet as the community stayed in doors. Family members and neighbours shopped to support those more vulnerable and key workers seemed grateful that they could still enjoy a takeaway and cake to relieve them of their duties.
The pandemic gave my life a new slower pace, no more school pick ups or arranging to meet with friends in the local cafe. If I wanted to stay connected to any fragment of normality I was required to gain new skills in technology - filters included!
Throughout this time, the slower pace has allowed me to witness kindness and gratitude wholeheartedly. I reflected on the phrase 'behind closed doors', the impact of isolation on those living alone and the spot light placed on those misplaced within our society. This allowed me to reframe my perspective of serving others and being privileged to offer words of kindness and support to those less fortunate than myself.
The pandemic has caused heartache within our community. We have lost, grieved and feared our way through seasons of uncertainty. However, it has also created a period in time to pause, review and reflect on our lives with hope, wonder and wisdom. For me, the pandemic is a stark reminder that we only have the time we're living in and connection is what is deemed "essential".
With thanks to Helen Stark who wrote this for our April 2021 Church magazine.
You can read the complete magazine through our News page on the website.