Having been in lockdown for a few weeks, I found myself reconnecting with family members I had not spoken to in a long time, and with friends I had lost contact with.

Suddenly, I had time and space, to pause, to reflect, to connect. I began reaching out, talking for an hour, or so, really listening and wanting to know were they all safe, well, healthy, really okay?

And knowing this, really mattered to me because of the current global pandemic, because of the pain and suffering, because of the fear, because we are all in this together.

I also found myself beginning my telephone conversations and emails by hoping they and their families were keeping safe and well, and ending by asking them to look after themselves, stay safe and well.

Going out for my daily walk, I began to notice that we were greeting one another, people I did not know: we were saying ‘good morning’ and ‘hello’, and ‘thank you’ as one of us made space for the other to pass; or we were simply smiling, acknowledging each another.

This had led me to ask myself why have I not shown more care and compassion, been more thoughtful, more observant? What excuses have I used: that I am too busy; that I don’t have the time or the energy and that of course everyone is fine – surely ‘no news is good news’.

And do I want to return to how I used to be? Definitely not! Having had the time and space to reflect, to notice, to do things differently, I like it. I like the connections, the sincerity and genuineness, listening to and reading the words of others, their meaning, the pauses and sitting comfortably with the silent spaces in between.

It feels good, refreshing, kind and beautiful – a way forward in these uncertain times – a way to be connected with myself, with you and the world.

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