I shared this on Instagram last week on the anniversary of the first lockdown announcement in Denmark. It struck a chord with many, so I’m sharing it here too.
A year ago today, my kids reacted with delight to the news that they would not be back at school for a while.
Meanwhile, I was, for once, glad of MT’s relentless pessimism, which meant our cupboards and freezer had already been well-stocked weeks before, given the news and pictures trickling in of empty shelves in Bilka.
Then a stranger knocked on my door…
It turned out it was our neighbour from behind, letting me know that in the hurricane-like winds that had descended that morning, like the raven himself, our trampoline was attempting to invade her garden.
With MT setting things in order at the office, I left the kids watching TV and spent the next two hours with gales whipping around my face, trying to dismantle said trampoline, which was upended on top of the 2m hedge, before it would collapse on the other side. Multiple sharp tools and sharp words were involved, as the gusts whipped at my tears.
Truth be told, those hours all felt pretty apocalyptic.
The next afternoon, I ventured as far as our local Fakta supermarket, where fresh milk and bread were waiting to be replenished, but otherwise shelves looked no different than at the end of a busy day. There was pasta, tinned food – even toilet roll – for the taking.
I stitched this up last spring, and only recently got around to popping it in a frame. (I thought I was being all clever and subtle with my textured aida and variegated Anchor thread, but it’s turned out rather too subtle for a good photo.)
Much has, indeed, already passed.
We’ve passed from the earliest days of dread and panic, to becoming familiar with new habits, to cautious hope and adjusted expectations, with deep loss and grief along the way.
I can’t help thinking of it as a kind of universal culture shock; arriving in a new country can trigger fears that nothing will ever feel the same again, but with time the impossible becomes a habit, the unfamiliar becomes normal.
So I fully believe ‘this too shall pass’ is more than blind optimism that everything will go back to the way it was. It’s also faith that we are capable of moving forward, even if the letting go of what was before is painful.
It’s knowing that there is only one thing more certain than the present moment: change.
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