“Last night I had the strangest dream, I sailed away to China…” (Matthew Wilder). Dreams are supposedly how your mind processes the thoughts that are going around in your head, and I really did dream about a boat and Chinese people last night. This is not the first dream that’s woken me up in the night recently and apparently I’m not the only one having vivid dreams at the moment (or sleeping 10 hours or more at night!).
In my dream I was cruising along in a big ship with my friends and family when we were suddenly abducted by angry gun-toting men who herded us onto a flaking red-hulled ship covered in Chinese lettering, to take us to who knows where. I woke up and managed to wake Athol too, who said it was a good thing I had woken up if it was a bad dream I was having. You don’t need to dig too deep to figure out that I’m feeling a bit trapped at the moment, with no sense of where we are going, but all I know is that the threat we are facing originated in China.
To be frank, yes, I am resentful. (Sure I’m not the only one here).
I have to admit that I’m just a teeny bit resentful of Person X who kicked off this crazy gigantic pandemic. I mean, what actually happened there after all?
Annoyed that a virus so tiny it can impact the entire globe, and nobody can contain it.
Frustrated that there is nothing we can do right now to get ourselves out of this crisis except do nothing.
Uncertain about how we will ever go back to the way things were before, in fact we more than likely won’t.
I go through days when I am like a bear emerging from hibernation – half asleep, hairy-legged, hungry as hell and ready to bite the head off the nearest person.
Yesterday when I asked my youngest why she looked downcast, she said she didn’t know why, but she just felt sad.
Sometimes the slower pace does drag a bit too much doesn’t it? My kids ask me what day it is as they all melt into one another, today used to be called Monday but now it’s just Day, and tomorrow will be just another Day. I alternate between bouts of apathy and bursts of energy. We could spend a morning scurrying about the garden and then whole afternoons and evenings watching rubbish films on Netflix.
There are some good things happening at the moment – I am enjoying the quieter, slower pace of life. I am glad that on the whole my kids are getting on well, we are doing more exercise as a family and the kids are helping more with chores. We have never spent so much time fixing up the garden before either, as the weather here in Ireland has been lovely – imagine if this had happened in the depths of the winter when everything was dark, wet and cold outside – we would be feeling ten times more miserable.
Yesterday was Easter and I watched Andrea Bocelli on YouTube, singing in his Music for Hope to the world in an empty Duomo in Milan. The end of his performance really moved me as he stood outside on the steps and sang Amazing Grace while the video displayed shots of abandoned cities across the globe. It really is incredible how our world has stopped, how the biggest cities have shut down and streets that are normally noisy and congested are now silent and empty. Silent that is except for Milan, Andrea and his microphone. Imagine if we somehow could have had a sneak peek of these scenes a year ago! What would we have wondered about what had happened to our world?
It’s hard to plan for the future at the moment isn’t it? My first thought when we discuss any plans is, “I wonder if that’s going to be possible now?”
Well, back to where I started and the Matthew Wilder ‘Break my stride, got to keep on movin’’ lyrics. No doubt this virus has broken the stride of most of us and so much of what we know has changed. But some things won’t ever change – some good things, like the fact that we can choose to keep on moving, to not let this get us down, to keep on singing and keep on hoping.
I am really glad that this happened over Easter time, a time which signifies new life and the retelling of the ancient Good News. Without so many distractions around us, we have had more time to think about these unchanging messages, and in this time of uncertainty, the unchanging good is what we need to cling to.