So it’s been a few weeks since I wrote about the coronavirus and I thought I’d check in.
I don’t know about you, but to me. things seem to have got into some kind of rhythm now.
In our house, on a Sunday, we gather around the TV to watch two services, one from St Peter’s and the other from Holy Trinity and St Michael’s. On Monday I do the meal plan for the week and go shopping. On a Thursday, we go outside and clap for our NHS workers, and each week the instruments heard in our road get more and more extravagant. Each week, the sound and demonstration of appreciation has built up and this week we are anticipating there being a bugle, a car horn, a cymbal, a guitar, a flute and a drum kit!
Each day Nathan and I sleep in for slightly longer than we are used to and we saunter down to our studies for Morning Prayer and a cuppa at 9. We work until lunch time, which we usually eat together. We then crack on again in the afternoon and at about 5.30 I have a chat with my family and do Evening Prayer at 7. At 7.30ish, dinner is ready and we sit down to watch the extras and behind the scene footage of Lord of the Rings (there are many, many hours of this). After that, because there are no evening meetings, we head to bed at 9.30, play on an app called Rome: Total War for a while and then we go to sleep. The ‘new normal’, as tough as it may be, has developed a pattern, which, I have found, helps.
Anyway, what I most wanted to talk about today is the word ‘should’. I have heard this word spoken a lot over the last 6 weeks or so, and that word has certainly popped into my mind on multiple occasions. I have heard everything from ‘I should be able to get through to the chinese take away to make my order’ to ‘people should not be allowed to leave their dog poo on top of the bins in the Pine Woods’ to ‘we should be in church this week’ to ‘we should be on holiday right now’ to ‘we should be getting married today’.
‘Should’ is a tricky word. Personally, I have tried so hard not to think like this. I was trying to think more along the lines of ‘we had plans but now it’s different; this is not what I anticipated would happen, it’s just different’.
That attitude was working well until today. Today, Tuesday 28th April, we should have been moving to Aintree. Throughout the day, like when I was putting the washing away, I was looking at our belongings, imagining the house move, where our home would have been full of people, boxes, activity and excitement.
Right now, we are sat in what is still our living room watching Lord of the Rings extras again, having enjoyed a stir fry and shared a bottle of wine. It’s lovely, and in many ways, I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend more time in our beautiful home, which is our first home together. But I still wonder; what would it be like if we had moved today? Would we, like our first evening in Formby, be sat on the floor of the new house sharing a pizza? Who knows.
But this is our reality now, so we might as well enjoy it as much as we can. When will we move? Who knows. But will we move? Of course we will. Will people, once again, be able to order take out without the line being engaged? Yes. Will those who were planning weddings be able to get married eventually? Of course. And everything of importance, from a craving for take away and the longing for a wedding, will take place in the future.
But in the mean time, and while we wait for those things we long for, let’s learn. Let’s learn to wait, to appreciate, to strip back, to give more, to be more patient. Let’s learn to engage, campaign, support, vote, nurture and inform. Our learning will look different for each of us, whatever it is we are waiting for, Let’s learn, and as we are all in this situation together, let’s learn together.