We all know – or most of us know – that black lives matter… The fact is, ALL lives matter.
There is so much going on in the world at the moment to contend with… Not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but now the ugliness of racism. With the very public and tragic death of George Floyd in the United States has come a tidalwave of raw emotion and outrage.
The emotion and outrage is most definitely justified, but I don’t think it justifies turning that outrage into physical acts of rage. Attacks on others who happen to be innocent members of the various ethnic groups that have exhibited this racism does nothing but turn the victims into perpetrators.
We cannot change history. We can, and do, certainly regret events within all our histories, but we cannot change what is. What we can do is learn from those events and show our regret by changing how we behave into the future. Instead of allowing these past injustices to fuel the fire and pave the way to future regrets, let us lament these terrible acts, and allow the existing icons and statues to be reminders of not the worst of our history, but of how far we have come since those times.
I know there will always be racists – it seems to be a part of human nature – but I hope that one day we can all look into each other’s eyes and see the person, not the colour of their skin. We are all the same underneath – we are all a part of the HUMAN race.
Many of us are at different points in our COVID-19 pandemic experience. After almost two months in lockdown, our children returned to school today. Although the temperatures are cooler, we woke to a bright blue and cloudless sky. Barely a breath of breeze jostled the leaves in the tall gums. The usual chorus of birdsong joined us in greeting the day. The only real difference this morning was a louder hum of traffic in the distance as more commuters returned to the office – my partner included.
My brood displayed the whole range of enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for the return to school… My eldest was excited to rejoin her friends and was ready for school without a fuss. My youngest was a little reluctant, however cooperative, and we managed to arrive at school, if a little late. My classic middle child suffered a bad dose of the “first day jitters“ to the point where he became physically ill. I was forced to issue an ultimatum – off to school or bedrest (no devices or distractions) all day. Bedrest has been chosen and I’m hoping that boredom today will create a little more enthusiasm for tomorrow.
It is surprising how much our minds can influence our physical well being. For some it is easier than others to overcome unchecked emotions. It can be both difficult and frustrating, for those who genuinely want to help, to understand someone who struggles with their anxieties.
Some of us ventured out into the world, and our “new normal“ today, let’s hope that with a little understanding and a lot of support that we can all get a little closer to our “old normal“ tomorrow.
How was your return to school and working life? I’d love to hear…
Can you hear that? That’s right, it’s quiet. No hum of the motorway, no roar of the truck engines. Less screaming from the sirens. Less noise, less pollution. Replaced thankfully, by clearer skies, fresher air and sparkling nights. The perfect opportunity for budding astronomers.
I must say, that positive side effects of COVID-19 seem to have been a healthier environment and the return to community – I have seen more families playing together in the park (while socially distancing from others) than ever. We are chatting across the fence more with our own neighbours in the street.
Physically we have been distanced and isolated from many we care about, but socially through mail, telephone and the internet, we have probably been more connected than ever. Displays of fun, kindness and thankfulness have been inundating social media. Socially distanced “crowds” have gathered to applaud our health workers, celebrities are entertaining for free over the internet, and fun loving Aussies have started the global trend with the “Bin Isolation Outing” Facebook group.
Right now, I am listening to calm waters lapping gently on a quiet beach. My boys enjoy each other’s company while my daughter chatters happily. ￼
It is still early, and I’ve crept out into the garden to enjoy the cool fresh air and bright friendly sunshine. The chorus of birds this morning is more like a full orchestra – too many different calls to count. I breathe in deeply and slowly… and just like the day, I can feel myself slowly coming to life.
In this moment, my world is normal. It is the first official day of the school Easter break. The children are sleeping in a little, my partner is early in to the office as usual, and I am taking a moment of solitude to gather my thoughts and contemplate the day.
Only this particular day is quite different. I won’t be planning an outing for our first day of leisure. We will be planning an at home activity. We won’t go out for a picnic lunch, but perhaps will enjoy one in our own backyard. My partner won’t come home from the office this evening, the office is now at home.
As I contemplate my day, I am reminded that my world is not normal. No one’s world is “normal“ any more. We are in the midst of a pandemic, like nothing we’ve seen in 100 years. Our new “normal” is a world of restricted movement, limitations, trepidation and uncertainty.
In order to live with our new “normal“, I have just realised the importance of taking this moment to feel the old “normal”. While the sun rises, while the birds herald, while the day is still fresh and new… as it is every single day. While my partner goes to the office, just like any other weekday and the children sleep in a little just because they can. I breathe in deeply and slowly… and for this moment, my world is still normal.
I am so thankful that my partner can work from home, and that I have a garden to share with the children.