Edwalk 1Sitting on the woodland walk in St. Catherine's Park the coronavirus seems a world away. The ugliness of this nasty bug that holds us all to ransom seems to temporarily lose its potency when feeling sheltered by the leafy canopy that lines this well-trodden trail. There's a calm stillness in such places, a hushed reverential silence calling us to lay aside the concerns of the moment and simply be quiet, in unison with the lush creation around us. It comes to us as a gift, we've done nothing to merit or deserve it; it invites us simply to receive it as a gift, the gift of a gracious giver, the Almighty himself.

Quiet places afford us time and space for deeper contemplation, time to process and make sense of the merry-go-round of human experiences that make up our day to day lives.

For months now, we have lived under the shadow of Covid-19, it has affected every aspect of our individual and societal interactions. Concepts like social distancing and respiratory etiquette have entered our consciousness and have rendered much of our everyday interaction and activity impossible, the simple gesture of a handshake has become in itself a potentially life-threatening action. 2020 is a year that we will never forget.

We could become all maudlin and depressed by our present predicament and allow ourselves to be crushed by the enemy we can't even see, but what would that achieve beyond a wallow in the bath of self-pity. Like it or not we have to adapt to the present circumstances and get on with things as best we can.

People in our world face daily hunger, homelessness, persecution and unspeakable privations and violence. Whole towns and cities have been reduced to rubble by bombardment and by natural disasters. Hundreds of thousands live in appalling refugee camps without the 'luxury' of running water and toilet facilities and are facing an uncertain future. By comparison our trials pale into insignificance. We have much to be grateful for and despite the restrictions we remain among the most privileged on the planet. We really need to count our blessings.

Philip Curran,
St. Mary's

July 25, 2020 - 8:01am
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