The Silence Between Breaths

One day, we’ll tell stories of this time. These days when the roads are empty and the skies quiet, except for the gentle trill of birdsong.

We’ll talk of the unexpected freedom that came from having so many obligations taken from our hands.

The grief of our losses will sit heavy on our hearts but we’ll remember, too, how the world was filled with love. How neighbour reached out to neighbour. How we stood on our doorsteps and applauded the heroes who have always lived amongst us but who we neglected to thank in our constant busyness.

We’ll remember the worry, and the ache we felt to hold our nearest and dearest. But there will be memories of joy as well. We’ll recall the hundreds of rainbows that appeared in windows around the world. We’ll marvel at the art that was born of this moment when the artists had time and space to do nothing but create.

We’ll reminisce about those slow, sunny days when we danced in the kitchen and learnt to bake bread from scratch. Admire the flowers blooming in our gardens and on our balconies, and remember the time we finally got around to planting them because there was nowhere to go and nothing else to do, and we’ll be glad we had that chance.

We’ll know, with a deep certainty, how blessed we are by our lives of convenience. We’ll understand, a little more clearly, what it means to go without.

Maybe we’ll look with pride on the jobs we got done or the projects we completed or the new skills we learnt. Or maybe we’ll fondly dream of those hours and days where there was nothing we needed to do but breathe.

Maybe we’ll have learnt to allow ourselves space for the things we really want, rather than cramming them into the corners of our overpacked lives. Maybe we’ll see with new eyes the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ we place upon ourselves, and realise there is a different way to be live.

Maybe we’ll remember our ability to survive through uncertainty, and how we found the capacity for joy, even when we didn’t know what the next day would bring.

Maybe we’ll have learnt to bring our focus to the silence between breaths. Maybe we’ll have found a new way to be human.

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