There are dark and brooding clouds suspended above us – pressing down on the planet, trying to squeeze the life out of all humankind; not even the strongest of winds seem able to move them on. They obscure what we once referred to as normal. But, peel back the outer layers of these blackened doomsayers, and we may just see it’s perfectly tailored lining. And if we are fortunate enough, the colour of that sumptuous inner layer may be a bright and blinding silver….
Close your eyes. Do you remember those scented Spring days when children would play in the park, when lovers walked hand in hand beneath budding trees, when hand-washing was something you did when…..well, less frequently than you probably do now? It didn’t seem that long ago when the roads were jammed with red and raging drivers and you could pop into the supermarket for half a dozen eggs without having to queue or stifle that tickly cough through fear of receiving the death stares from the self-righteous nose-wipers. Yes – so do I.
Those halcyon days seem a life time ago now. For many of us, January 2020 was possibly when we began to take notice of the terms ‘Coronavirus’ and ‘Covid-19’, when the TV news bulletins reported more frequently, and gradually more in depth on the virus that was rapidly spreading across the world. Then came the time, not that much later, when the only news item was the virus; nothing else could knock this dreaded news item off it’s newsworthy perch. The only sense of normality now is the weather forecast at the end of each bulletin; but even that seems pointless as we are only meant to be going out once a day in any case. And even on a sunny day, the metaphoric cloud hangs there in all it’s menace and foreboding.
Normality – what actually is normal? And will things ever get back to something even close to what we know, or knew, as normal? Somehow I doubt it. And perhaps things shouldn’t return to the old normal, especially as we are able to see now – we took those days for granted. For a start, and probably most importantly, things are never going to be the same for thousands of families around the world; particularly the families that have lost loved ones and those dear to them. How can they go back to normal? They are now without Mothers, Fathers, husband, wives, children, friends. Life for them will never be the same – they will, in their own time, have to adapt to a new world in more ways than one. But even those of us who haven’t, and all-being-well, will not have to suffer bereavement, we will still need to adapt to a new world.
Hopefully, the new world will be a better one; one that is kinder, more caring, and less self-centred than it was previously. There may be less waste, less hoarding, less of the ‘me first’ attitude, (we live in eternal hope). Hopefully, the planet will continue to recover, aided as it is, from less air travel and motor vehicle emissions. Hopefully, those depressing outer layers can be removed from the clouds of despair completely, so that the shimmering silver lining can reflect on us all, to enable everyone to benefit from a brighter and more positive future.
These words may seem unrealistically idyllic, but I am the proverbial eternal optimist; perhaps a bit of a dreamer at times but I always want and hope for the best for everyone. And I hope that all of us, in some way or other, come out from under the dark cloud, in a better and brighter place.