May 1st. May Day. Beltane. International Workers’ Day. At a more local level, May 1st is replete with traditions. Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss and Helston’s Furry Dance are well known but there are plenty of others, particularly in this south-eastern corner of Cornwall. But not this year.
Week 6, I think, of lockdown. Is it week 6? Time has taken on a different meaning these days. Perhaps that’s why I felt the need to list those other names by which we might own this day because real time no longer applies as once it did.
For a long time over recent months there were no posts because time and energy have become precious resources for me and for a while it was necessary to focus those resources elsewhere. And then the world changed. I found that now I had time to spare. But no words with which to fill it. What could I possibly say that was worth saying? I’ve still been reading blogs, albeit fewer than before. I admire those who have maintained a regular schedule and have remained focused on their particular brief. I commiserate with those who have found it difficult to write. Or read. Or do many of the things that they thought they might do if only they had time on their hands. And I applaud those who have found the words to capture their experience of this extraordinary time. Please do read Andrea’s recent post if you have a few moments to spare.
Not everyone finds they do have time to spare. Continuing to work, alongside home-schooling children and with little opportunity for fresh air and exercise is a stiff challenge. Hiding away, staying safe but apart from society is a challenge of another sort. Everyone is challenged in these times. My father, always stoic and uncomplaining, staying safe and caring for Mum behind closed doors, managing without all the help and visitors that until recently punctuated their lives, has this week had a wobble. “What if we have to stay isolated over Christmas?” he asks. “I can’t imagine not seeing the family at Christmas.” And we assure him that won’t happen but in truth, what do we know? It’s impossible to second-guess where we might be by then. Unchartered waters.
But there we have the major reason for my not writing. I certainly have the time now. But what can I write that has anything to contribute? Really, I have nothing. I know nothing. Instead, I take one day at a time, slowly and with gratitude for the many blessings and things to appreciate, both large and small. Including the view from here.
This was the view from here almost exactly four years ago, very soon after our arrival. I was enchanted. “I could sit here all day gazing at that view,” I wrote. Since then, I’ve gazed at this view in all seasons and all weathers. And in recent weeks I have had countless hours more in which to gaze. Rarely has it included quite such a perfect rainbow as this one; the rainbow seems particularly relevant now.
The past couple of days have seen more rainbows, generously shared on our local Facebook page.
The storm clouds are gathering. But the rain will pass. In time.
A certain blogging friend who has become very good at offering gentle nudges of encouragement did just that yesterday. And it being a Thursday, I also enjoyed a long video chat with another friend – a friendship which goes back years but which has never included phone calls. Amidst the challenges, these present restrictions have led to some positives: she and I have started weekly video chats and hopefully she’s enjoying it as much as I am.
Connection, that’s what it’s about. And isn’t that what blogging is about too? Connection? So I’m sitting here thinking, May 1st – as good a day as any to don the blogging mantle again and see what might be shaken from its folds. A good day to reconnect.
Hoping everyone is safe and well. May there be rainbows in your skies too