We live in strange times today. The pandemic has taken away the privileges we thought were normal.
Normal! What is normal? We all define normal differently. My normal family is different to your normal family. My normal daily routine is different to your normal routine. Your normal beliefs are different to mine. This is what makes us unique.
Are these strange times or was our life before Covid-19 strange?
The most important thing is that the majority of us still have our life. Many have been taken by Covid-19, and many have lost members of their families.
Life is so much slower now. Although, I have not achieved much in the way of a cleaner house or a better garden. I have done a bit of sewing until that bored me. I have done a bit of reading until that bored me.
I long to do what I can’t do. I want to go on holiday via plane train and automobile. I want to visit my son and grandchildren. I want to visit my aged Aunt, I want to visit towns I haven’t visited before.
Today I just had to get out. I have been double vaccinated, so I am one of the privileged! I packed my camera, water bottle and hat and off I went in my car. Off to a bush walk close to home. Then off to the east side of the river, where I could see the progress of our new bridge being constructed. There were lots of people sitting by the banks of the river having a picnic and deep in conversation, laughing, talking and ever so grateful to be outdoors with friends and family. It was pleasant to see. How I wished I could have joined them.
As I passed the public toilets nearby, I notice some bedding on the concrete path, between the amenities blocks. How sad, I thought. I wondered where the homeless went when it rained! How lucky am I?
The path that meandered further east grabbed my attention so I decided to follow it. Along the track strolled the young, the old and those learning to ride their bicycles. The concrete path ended and a dirt track continued, so I followed it. I could see some black plastic strewn around some trees. Creeping a little closer I began to feel uncomfortable as I presumed it was yet another homeless persons’ abode. How sad! As I was walking back I saw two ladies walking toward me and I heard one say “ Yes, It is still there!” I asked if it was a humpy of a homeless person, to which the reply was “Oh, yes, we took photos and reported it to the council but they are on Crown Land, therefore, the council can’t do anything about it, but we will continue to monitor it.”
Really! I thought. I guess they have a nice home with homely comforts and a comfortable, warm bed to snuggle into when the wind is howling and the rain is pouring. Do they know what empathy is?
Back in the car to find another nearby park that has a pond and many families of waterbirds. Another opportunity for several photographs. I heard splashing, so I thought I would be able to get some action shots of the birds in the water. I found a lady feeding the ducks. I asked if it was alright to take her photo whilst feeding the birds. “Oh, I don’t care,” she said. We struck up a conversation and she told me that she was a poet but during Covid, she has lost interest in everything. “No one visits, no one calls. It is so lonely. My husband is a grumpy old man and he no longer knows my name. I am in my eighties, been married for 50 plus years and he calls me ‘f@%king woman”!!! As she left she told me I had made her day. She said “I come here every day to feed the ducks and you are the first person that has spoken to me”. “Oh! That is so sad”, I responded.
What a day! Have we lost the art of communication, compassion, empathy, love for thy neighbour, sympathy, kindness, tenderness and benevolence?
Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are.
A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life