Someone asked me recently if I had been writing during lockdown, for myself at least even if not for sharing. The answer’s pretty much a no, though I’ve thought about it often, and rather wish I had captured the fluctuating tide of thoughts day by day, week by week. Despite rarely venturing more than a few miles from home, I have travelled a long way during lockdown and it would have been interesting to be able to review the evolution.
Now we’re approaching the turning of the year I am starting to look back over this journey of mine. A tumble and jumble of memories: fluctuating emotions, the intensity and stress of transitioning my team to home working, the physical discomforts of being so much in the home, the anguish of distance from loved ones, the sense of loss as well as joy through tenuous zoom connections — and long hours of yoga, with new-found physicality and intensity teaching me much about the mind-body connection and how to be more fully present, as I experience more deeply the richness of unfolding moments and of unfolding shapes.
Before the year end, before I perhaps reflect more deeply on how I have experienced this year and what I might choose to do with the next year of life that is graced to me, there’s Christmas. And all the dilemmas that are thrust upon me by the pandemic, by the government’s fluctuating and contradictory policies, by my family’s reluctance to take responsibility. And the degree to which I am hostage to my emotions or am ruled by logical reasoning and rational risk evaluation…
For the first time since March I have been feeling a deep weariness. December has got into my bones. And today such sadness and frustration as holiday plans suddenly changed when the UK government announced tighter travel restrictions. There are no more dilemmas and decisions as I am no longer permitted to visit my family.
I video-called my parents. My mum was in tears and my dad was struggling, but I made them both laugh a little. We talked about what we have to be grateful for and how we will still find ways to enjoy Christmas time and share moments together each day. We blew kisses over the screen.
The journey through lockdown goes on and I keep travelling. In difficult moments like this I see the real fruits of my yoga practice, that the cultivation of greater presence and attention is not at all about learning to balance on my hands, it’s about how to keep my mum and dad going and give them all the love and compassion they need, without my own fears and sadness getting in the way.