I spoke to my mother on the phone yesterday. It’s a fairly regular thing we do, especially as we’re not able to visit each other at the moment. We try to speak at least once a week, catching up on what little news there is to share, and talking of this and that.
This week we spoke about how it’s been almost a year since all the family were together. It was at my birthday celebrations, the week before the first UK lockdown started. We’ve been lucky, though, we agreed, having been able to see family on the few occasions it was allowed, though visits have been few and far between in the past year.
It got me thinking about the threads that bind us together. The threads of blood and family and love and friendship, of the little things we do, the cups of tea and meals shared, the gifts and days out, the people who leave us, and the new ones who arrive. Our lives are tapestries woven of moments – we each thread our own path, linking with others to create a pattern unique to us alone.
Yet this past year for so many of us the threads have been loosened, the pattern drifting. Some threads have broken altogether; lives lost, relationships ending, career paths coming to an abrupt stop. And the smaller weavings; the chance meetings in the street, the nights out with friends, the ‘I’ll just pop round’ visits, the hobbies and workouts and classes taken with others – all of them absent in the pattern of this past year. I worry for those who may be drifting, unanchored, the things that bound them to this world taken away.
And yet we have also adapted, as humans do. New patterns have arisen, new ways of doing things as we go forward. A morning show segment the other day had a reporter asking people in the street if they think things will go back to ‘normal’ once all this is over. And only one person thought they would. The rest all said that they thought it would be different, which is understandable, considering this past year has been an unprecedented global event. But what was interesting was how they thought it would be different. All of them cited positive changes as a result of lockdown, things they hoped to see continued once it was over. An increased focus on fitness, and on going outside. An appreciation of the joy of being able to meet up with friends and family. An increased sense of community, of people helping others, and getting to know their neighbours. A better work/life balance.
So, even though the patterns may have changed, it seems as though the threads are still there, waiting for us to take them up once more. I hope that, as things begin to ease, we are able to pull them tight again, and catch those who may need more help getting back onto the loom.
May the weavings of this year be bright.
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