It is sad that sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us realise that each day is a privilege.
Three recent events that have touched my life have once again brought this to the fore. A time when we are all wrapped up in what we can and what we cannot due and I find myself being quite introspective. I decided to ride this craziness out and not travel home to see family for Christmas. The days are short and the nights long and dark and the sun seldom manages to break through the clouds, and when it does it is watery and not very effective in creating any heat. But maybe it is the novelty of it that I am loving, as this is the first time in the 60 years of my life, that I have not been in the southern hemisphere for Christmas.
But there are days that the dark heaviness weighs you down. The body’s bio rhythms are always a little out of kilter. And the mind turns inward. When you wake at 8am and it is still pitch black outside, with the wind howling and the rain lashing, it takes a lot of willpower to get up, lace on some running shoes and start the day, although knowing that once out there it is well worth it.
Almost seven years ago, life as I knew it, took an about turn and I found myself sinking into a bit of an abyss and it took the sudden death of a friend to snap me out of my “Oh woe is me” attitude. That was the day I signed up for my first adventure of planting trees for Greenpeace and then went off to Costa Rica to teach art.
Last week an old friend passed away after falling into a diabetic coma – she had survived cancer and the death of her spouse. Another friend has just been discharged from hospital after 3 weeks after contracting this dreaded virus – his words “Be careful out there – take it seriously”, and then this morning I heard of the death of a young friend (38) who I worked with at Morgan Bay, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in October.
All this somehow puts things in perspective – so what if you aren’t allowed to go to the beach right now, or if there will be no all fall down New Years Eve parties this year, or if we are required to wear a mask, or holiday plans need to be put on hold. We are alive and well. Another dear friend sent me a link to a clip about the cartoonist Charlie Mackesy, whose message at the end of the day is “Don’t give up, the storm ends”. Make the most of each and every single day, regardless of what it is – just doing what you want to do at that specific moment instead of focusing on how unfair the world is perceived to be.