Friday was our rubbish collection day. It was also the day I decided to go for a walk as part of my exercise. The sun was out and it was really good to get some fresh air and look at all the blossom on the trees and really appreciate everything that was going on around me. All the rubbish bags were on the pavement and I couldn’t help but notice the things that were left out. I saw an empty box for a rowing machine, two exercise bike boxes, several trainer boxes. It made me smile, so many people taking the advantage of time and being able to exercise. The other thing that struck me was just how many people actually spoke. In a walk of a few kilometres every time you got close to someone, one or other of you would cross the road so that we didn’t come too close. Strange in itself but keeping up with social distancing. The thing I did notice was that every single person spoke to me as they passed me. It may just have been a good morning or lovely day but everyone spoke. We are the nation that doesn’t talk but the smiles and the few words really stood out to me as being different. One elderly man said good morning and when I responded with yes it is a beautiful day he said to me that he had noticed that people were chatting. He then said to me if we can’t be nice to each other in these circumstances what hope do we have. That is such a poignant comment and I do hope that through these tough times we are learning to appreciate the really simple things that we usually take for granted.
Back to the rubbish bags, those bags filled with shredding and rubbish a sign that people had been clearing out. The boxes from exercise equipment and trainers showing the new routines being set up. The empty drink cans and bottles showing that people are missing out on the social things away from home but trying to replicate these situations at home. We have friends who have even done virtual dinner parties. These empty bags and piles of rubbish actually made me realise one thing. We are all in this together. We are all doing the same things, fighting the same battles whether it be happy or sad. We don’t know how long we will have to endure these difficult situations but when things are back to normal I do hope that we can still appreciate the things that we have missed during lockdown and don’t just go back to being too busy to care.
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