I have discovered there are many shades on the road from bleak isolation to comfortable aloneness; that my moods along that road are as mercurial as solitude itself.
I walk the short river path near my home every evening knowing I will be completely alone. Yesterday, with a spring in my step, I realised that the very nature of my footsteps is an immediate indicator of my mood. My mood in turn, dictates how I experience the walk itself. I have jaunted along completely enveloped by nature, the birdsong beautiful and the air after rainfall fresh and sweet. And I have trampled this path without seeing, without hearing, blind with worry for myself, my loved ones, the world. In the shades between, I walk - at times looking out- seeing swans, ducks and the river gliding by; at others I see less, my attention completely focused within. I am living moment by moment.
I have few of my former distractions to mask my discomfort, afford me temporary respite. My car lays idle in its spot, my work clothes hang lugubriously in their wardrobe, airline tickets are refunded and trips put on hold. I am on permanent retreat. I have no choice but to choose it.
There are moments when I forget what the world is going through, when the shining sun warms my soul and all is well; when I cherish all that I have, quieten the worry and allow myself to be happy, to enjoy, to relish. Now is one of those moments, and the peacefulness I am experiencing enables me to traverse my anxiety more easily. It is ephemeral though, so I know it will change and change back. And metamorphose again.
So I hold on to what is real: people shape my life, my love of them and theirs of me. When our indomitable spirits fail us, we hold each other up. We have technology to help us in our determination to be there for each other and it works. We are love and there is enough of it to go around. When we look back on our time of virus, if we are able to say, I loved and was loved in return, we will truly have survived.
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