I have some thoughts

Good words

A rainbow over tenement flats in EdinburghIn the week before lockdown, I lived in my anxiety. I watched myself visibly shake for days. Each one of them felt like a week. Each one of them changed our new and scary reality just a little bit more. This whole situation is a very specific fear come true for me. It’s a lot to come to terms with. We’re all feeling it, I know.

The writer Emily P Freeman says “The fearful words find us easy, but the good words are found by us. We have to look for them and then when we find them we have to choose to receive them.” This is how I’m beginning to feel about this not-normal new normal we live in; the fear finds us easy, but the good is found by us. We have to look for it.

I’ve been looking for the good. There’s plenty to find.

The good of slower days, of families in lockdown who can spend more time together, talking and playing, drawing and baking, driving each other crazy and laughing until they cry.

The good of good neighbours, leaping into action to organise volunteer groups in their communities, getting supplies to vulnerable people, setting up phone chains so no-one is lonely, not sleeping until it’s done.

The good of rekindled friendships, of Zoom quizzes and cocktails, of online movies and dinner parties, of shared moments that wouldn’t have happened in other circumstances.

The good of the internet, because my goodness, can you imagine this without it?

The good of industry, of food suppliers pivoting to direct sales, of delivery drivers and producers and warehouse workers continuing to go to work while we stay home, so we can find what we need and have it sent to our houses.

The good of volunteers, of the people who are using their skills to teach children (and adults) online, of the people who are fundraising where they can with what they have.   

The good of rainbows in windows.

The good of heroes in scrubs.

The good, the good, the good.

Tomorrow will be scary. The day after, too. But there’s good in the chaos, just waiting for you to look for it. When you do, you’ll find it. And when this is over, and we go back outside to reconnect with the people we love, we’ll know that in the darkness, there was light. When we felt despair, we also felt hope. In the bad times, there was also so much good.

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