Pictorial blethers

By blethers

Living differently

Whether or not we talk about it, no-one can help noticing the different lives we are all living, suddenly and crazily, because of the current epidemic. Whether it's the disappearance of toilet paper or the sudden urge to buy an extra jar of Marmite "just in case", we're reduced to a certain degree of looking over our shoulders, looking out for number one, feeling resentment at the cancelled holiday or whatever. 

But there is a different way. I was still in bed this morning, drinking tea and wondering how we'd manage if, as ancient 70+ people (henceforth to be known only as "the elderly") we are told to lock ourselves away,   when I heard my phone ping in the study.  This heralded a text message from a friend, a member of the choir whom we've known since she was a child some 40 years ago. Would we like her to go shopping for us if we're not able to go to the supermarket? This is someone with a job and three children, and yet first thing on a Sunday morning she thought of us, and how she might help.

And then we went to church. Because we weren't supposed to be there, the deputy organist was playing and the two of us sat together and sang. Crazy, really - all these elderly people sitting together in a tall building waiting to be infected. Only it didn't feel that way at all. Our rector abandoned his prepared sermon, talked instead about how we were all feeling, explored ideas for keeping us all feeling cared-for and in contact, even if the word comes that we have to stop meeting. He even quoted a bit of something I'd blipped, which was fun, as well as pulling my leg about wine and licensing laws on early shopping trips ...

We laughed, we were inspired. We could live differently, we could even grow through this undoubtedly testing time. By the time we came to our final hymn, our alleluias were defiant. Whether it was Pope John Paul II or St Augustine who said it first, it's a slogan that inspires: We are an Easter people, and Alleluia is our song. 

I don't usually go in for this sort of post, and normal service will shortly be restored. But today, yes. Ring the bells that still can ring ...

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