PCN Newsletter 28th May
In our tenth newsletter we hear from Adrian Alker about the need to value all key workers.
I must confess that I am not a patient person, I can be patient but it takes great effort on my part. This lockdown has tested my patience. My patience has been tested by my daughter insisting that if Dinky Donkey is worth reading once, it is worth reading half a dozen times. My patience has been tested by the lady in the supermarket who, despite there being a queue of people waiting with appropriate social distancing to grab their curry supplies, spent close on five minutes browsing naan bread before deciding she didn’t want any. My patience has been tested by seeing people locally breaking the lockdown while I and my family give up much to keep it. My patience with this situation has mostly been tested by not being able to see the people that I care about. A friend of ours who lives alone developed Covid-19 early on and had to nurse herself through a nasty illness, we weren’t able to be there. We haven’t seen my parents in months and as they live in Wales the recent relaxation in the rules doesn’t apply to them, my daughter is desperate to see them and asks for them daily, she certainly doesn’t understand the need for patience. So when I heard that more relaxations to the rules were planned I was hopeful that maybe the time had come when we could have more contact but instead I find I will be able to go shopping for non-essential items. I must say that for me, of all of the things that I have found it hard to give up, shopping is not one of them. But I suppose that I should take my blessings where I find them and while I wait to be able to see and hold my loved ones I will now at least be able to browse in an appropriate, socially distanced, masked manner for a good book to help pass the time. I just hope that the lady from the supermarket isn’t there. Sarah Guilfoyle, PCN Britain AdministratorIt’s Sunday so I’m wearing smarter clothes than yesterday’s old gardening attire. Lockdown has distorted my perception of time because one day is similar to all the others. I need some sort of rhythm to help me recognise where I am; my pill-box is my best calendar! Without reference points we feel lost, we yearn for a familiar and comfortable routine.Now, at the age of 86, I‘ve had a long life, full of events that give me many memories. I know that what I do remember did happen – or did it? My most vivid memories of childhood are about summer holidays, warm, sunny, time to play in the woods with my friends, secure and happy. Of course it wasn’t always like that. There were wet days, little to do, few books in the house, no ‘entertainment’ for children. We looked at the sky and longed to see ‘a patch of blue, large enough to make a sailor a pair of trousers’. Perhaps we are designed to remember most vividly the good times to preserve our sanity. When communism collapsed, most people in Eastern Europe looked forward to a new life of greater freedom, happiness and wealth. However, when things didn’t turn out to be immediately as they hoped, some were tempted to wish for a return to the ‘old’ days of security, hardship perhaps, but they knew where they were. The new life was full of uncertainties where they had to work things out for themselves; no longer were they told what to do in most aspects of life. They were in uncharted territory of which they had no direct experience. We read, in the Old Testament, of many occasions when, having escaped an oppressed life in captivity, the Israelites looked forward to a new and better life. However, when things didn’t turn out quite as they hoped or imagined, they longed for the old, familiar and secure life. They forgot the difficulties and problems of the old and only remembered the good times. Prophetic voices called them to look forward to a vision of life lived in harmony with God, each other and nature. We are currently in a time of transition and there are voices calling us to a better life in harmony with each other and the natural world. We look back and see how we have abused others by our lifestyle, wasted resources by greed and extravagance, polluted land, sea and air to the point of causing illness, both physical and mental, but always expecting others to sort out the mess. Harmony is a blend of differences for the greater whole, not uniformity. We too are at a point where we can change things. Will we listen to the prophetic voices or will we drift back to the old, comfortable and familiar life? It is our choice, both as individuals and communities. We must not leave it to others to sort out. A vision of what’s possible is emerging. There will be problems and uncertainties but we should focus on the positive and move forward. David Kemp, PCN Member May 2020