I have never been more aware of the privilege of a garden. A slice of the earth of one’s own, a place to provide rest, work, healing and growth. Somewhere to occupy the body so the mind can freely wander away from the strange new cares of the outside world.
The crisis that has hit the world in recent weeks has been looming for some months, and while it seemed far away on the other side of the earth we could be complacent that it would not affect our lives. Having been alerted to the risk early on (by my brother, a very wise person), we felt somewhat prepared, but no amount of stored tins or toilet rolls can prepare you for the surreal moment you stand in a supermarket queue stretching to the end of the car park with masked customers. Or for the heightened awareness you suddenly have for the sound of a cough. There is a sense of foreboding which cannot be shaken off, which you feel the moment you wake up and realise you are back in this alternative version of our normal world.
For the first time, I have felt the momentous risk that is being taken by key workers, who continue to work knowing they risk their own health while doing so. The deaths of young, fit healthcare workers such as Areema Nasreen , a mother of three children like myself, force us to face the possibility, that none of us are not immune to this risk. A routine task such as a baby check or a visit to the funeral home to complete forms could be the catalyst for a disastrous series of events. No wonder Covid insomnia is now a common phenomenon amongst doctors.
Amongst all this, nature continues unabated. Trees blossom, leaves unfurl, flowers bloom. The change of the seasons grounds us in the knowledge that the world continues even while we are forced to stop.