An Extraordinary Moment in Time
There isn’t a soul alive who could have predicted the current pandemic and impact of Co-Vid 19 on global humanity. The past 3 months has created unprecedented levels of anxiety, fear and confusion.
Thoughts tumbling buffeting around and around, up and down and in and out. Click click click, they go, all day long and deep into the night, shaking sleep away like an unwelcome gust of wind, banging a door shut as we jump back in alarm
Panic sets in, whipping many into a frenzied gluttony of over-buying, scuttling into selfish silos with an ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude and ne’er a glance at the poor, the elderly, the pregnant. Women who will be delivering a child into a unique moment in history. Not the birthright anyone would choose.
And then of course there are those who stop, look around and notice the vulnerable closing of a front door, a shuffle up the front steps and hastily pulled curtains, too ashamed, too proud to ask for help, too embarrassed to admit that they missed the latest delivery again, chastising themselves for being too sick, too old and just too slow.
Do they feel any guilt at all I wonder? Those with an excess of toilet paper, tins of soup that will doubtless be thrown away in 2022 once retrieved from the back of well stocked cupboards?
Do the right thing if you have indulged feel those twinges of guilt, leave a surprise for an elderly or impoverished neighbour. We’re all in this together, show some compassion.
On Wednesday when it was announced that schools would close I had an overwhelming sense of becoming adrift, fearful of spinning endlessly into a time and space that I hadn’t anticipated and which threw up so many more questions than answers: what? when? how? who? when? who? how? On and on the questions came. Before Columba 1400, before my voyage of self discovery before acknowledging my need for creativity and finding my voice, the news of imminent closure would very likely have sent me scuttling into the numbing ‘comfort’ of Fluoxetine, or wine, or both, but instead I have asked for help, guidance and reassurance so that I could lead effectively, calmly, with integrity, connections and perseverance: with my values.
Our Work families: what a rag-tag bunch we are and if not united in our care, devotion and passion for providing the very best for our vulnerable young people might never have crossed paths. All week I have felt genuinely blessed to know that whatever decisions had to be made we were in it together, pulling seamlessly as a team.
And so now the pubs and restaurants are to close, we are to take social distancing seriously, physically removing ourselves from what we as humans naturally crave: connections and contact. We are in uncharted waters.
As I was returning from my walk over the Glen golf course with Jilly, speeding up to avoid the inevitable downpour that was heading my way, I made a conscious effort to observe the rain clouds, the sun beginning its descent, bright yellow against a heavy grey, the purple lobelia Erinus clinging to a drystone wall and allowed my thoughts to drift, but not too far.
I know I need routine, connections, interactions to keep me sane, we all do. I also know I need space, time and solitude, we all do. But to have one taken away and only available from a distance is going to be tough.
A rowdy bunch of senior pupils from NBHS were staggering along East Road at 6.15pm, as I was heading home, clutching bottles of Fanta laced with vodka, 1/2 bottles of Buckfast and after my initial and natural reaction involved an inner tutting in my head, I acquiesced and thought would I have been any different at that age? Of course not and we didn’t have a pandemic to contend with in 1982. What will become of this generation who are currently celebrating the end of school as they know it but will wake one day to a sense of having had the rug pulled from under their feet? Party plans abandoned, the empty hall booked for the ultimate sixth year dance, prom dresses, flirtations and promises of teenage love staying alive. Gone.
Who knows. But we all need to be aware, be safe and be well.
Community. Kindness. Thoughtfulness. Support. Recognition. Connection. Love