Musings from isolation - Week 2
Updated: Apr 23
For every season there is a reason…turn, turn, turn.
We are lucky…we live on an island and there’s much to gain from the time spent there. As I write, the sun is shining and the cicadas are humming like never before. Are we paying attention? What should we watch and who should we listen to? Trust yourself to make the right choices. Switch off the noise, there’s way too much anyway.
I’m embracing the quietness. Maybe that’s more difficult with small children around, but find some space to breathe… and do just that.
Other than when it’s really necessary, step away from the television commentary, radio talkback and the internet. The news is recycled and much of it opinion, not fact.
The local community is actively reaching out to help wherever possible.
I took a walk through my little town this morning to discover a white door resting against a tree. It was a local’s creative call-out to the neighbourhood. Covered in post-it notes, with messages like ‘What can I do for you?’ ‘What I need right now is fresh vegetables.’ ‘Anyone have a spare bicycle I could loan?’ ‘Desperately needing flour for a birthday cake’
The great teddy bear hunt is on to entertain kids walking through the neighbourhood. Various teddies strategically positioned in windows and front yards. One farmer fashioned a bunch of hay bales into two giant teddy bears sitting together.
Someone decided to play the bagpipes to amuse those waiting in queue at the local supermarket. People are reinventing themselves, dreaming up new ways to help others through tougher times. We are digging deep and discovering a generosity of spirit that has lain dormant for years.
With plenty of time alone, we can also discover the ‘self.’ What defines me and what potential lies within me? Some days there is more clarity than others. Forced isolation can be frightening for people as they struggle to come to grips with being reliant on others, being part of a group, or quite simply being alone with themselves.
A recent study found that nine million adults in the UK are either often or always lonely. Humans need connections and never-more-so than when we are removed from usual day-to-day life.
And so it begins. A stream of memes, YouTube clips and jokes flood my phone. It’s that tiny release of serotonin that’s exactly what’s needed right now.
We are naturally sociable creatures, so being in isolation is tough. Kids from families where parents are separated or divorced, are forced to make tough choices or carefully navigate between households.
People with elderly parents or grandparents have the heart-breaking task of separating themselves to ensure they are safe. This in itself is difficult, as older generations already experience a degree of loneliness and isolation.
After finishing a particularly long beach walk with my dog, I plunge into the waves and she follows closely behind. Surfacing amidst a sheet of sea spray, I smell salt on the frothy bubbles and immediately have a flashback. I’m a carefree teenager, body surfing the waves with my father at Mt Maunganui. Quietly transported back to a moment in time, oblivious to the world and its current darkness.
I’m appreciating every moment and understanding what it means to be 'present.’