The Dark Months Eighteen

This is the last in The Dark Months series for Winter 20/21, and I’m glad.

Winters are never easy. This last one was no exception. Added to the collective slide into a quasi hibernation, has been added the stress and strain of a national lockdown to help manage the Covid 19 pandemic.

The merits or otherwise of a ‘is it or isn’t it’ lockdown and its efficacy will long be debated. What most of us take from it is that life is precious. But there’s more, much more.

We all now know that some friendships matter more than others; be honest, who have you missed and whom would you care never to see again? That there are huge and growing inequalities in our society is also inescapable, just as is our Government’s lack of care.

The strain of managing households and childrens’ education at home, while also working from home, has fallen disproportionately on women. Many members of ethnic minorities already living precariously in what has proved to be an openly racist society and culture are the very people working on the front line of the Covid crisis. Meanwhile the economic and digital divide between those that have and those who have not yawns ever wider.

It’s a mess.

And so it was, while pondering all this, that the heaving, dark grey clouds yawned open. Light hit yellow lichen on a wooden rail; like a struck match, a blaze of yellow, amber, gold and lime broke out, each colour rippling in intense succession before giving way.

In that moment the light levels seemed to double, possibilities multiplied and birdsong seemed sharper and more insistent, the breeze warmer.

Hope could be sniffed on the air.

Winter had passed.

It’s at times like this that we are wise to remember that in every end is a new beginning.

There is work to be done.