Zigzagging has become the new norm, I now strategise each move and am learning enthusiastic hand signals and gesturing. What was once (a week ago) a straight forward pop up the road has now become a mixture of dodgems and SAS moves! Life is not the same, I think we all see that. We’re in unchartered waters wondering how and where to set our sail, we're all in the same metaphorical boat. And so now is a time for myself and my family to find the new pathways, rhythms. It's a time to go around where we used to go straight, and step right where we once went left. It's not enough to just 'hunker down' during the stormy waters, we don't know how long it will last or how intense it will be, and honestly I'm not content to simply wait it out and long for the way things were. I sure do miss some things but there are some wonderful new paths unfolding also.
The beauty of getting off the beaten track is finding new joys I never knew existed, like waving at strangers. Have you found yourself doing this yet? You will. Across fences and thresholds I'm giving my fellow-distancer that knowing look of solidarity, we're further apart by 2 metres yet I feel closer than ever before. Being led from my comfort zone is exposing me to fresh life in foreign parts, I'm heartily welcoming a smile from anyone regardless of age, colour, gender, size or football team allegiance, maybe the London 'look-down' will be liberated by the lockdown! I can but hope. I'm catching myself here, can my introvert self be getting a new look on life also?! :D
FaceTime is fast becoming the new kitchen table, my mum and I have been meeting there a few times over a cup of tea, now life's bursting seams are breathing more easily we are making time. We got onto WWII today and mum was telling me about rationing, I won't give her DOB or she won't thank me but she remembers when it ended in 1954.
She also shared with me the beautiful story of a 21yo Russian Jewish girl who was pen-pals with a UK friend near her. This young woman had the opportunity to come to the UK in the 80's and meet her correspondence friend for the first time. While here she was taken to the supermarket to experience some English culture. Her disbelieving eyes met with row upon row of filled, colourful and a multitude of goods. She broke down and wept right there in the aisle. She only wished for apples, oranges and nuts, and not for herself, but to take back for her father. She couldn't stop weeping.
Did you know the UK lived under rationing for 14 years, 14 years for a 6 year war. Rationing came into force on 8th January 1940, a few months after the start of World War II. The process of de-rationing began in 1948 but made slow progress until 1953. We don't know how intense the storm will be or how long it will last. Mum told me how neighbours would club ration stamps together for special occasions like ingredients for a wedding cake. Everything you see in this picture is to feed a family for a week, can you imagine?
One of my favourite sayings is 'necessity is the mother of invention', it could have easily been the blazer pin worn by those living through WWII, they were so innovative and learned how to go right when they were used to moving left. Jumpsuits were a result of the war, they were quick to put on when the sirens sounded and had pockets for papers and valuables. Hair was cut less and so money was saved, I think we're all going to be a bit wooly and know our true hair colours after this! T-straps and opened toed shoes saved on leather, furniture was in short supply so a cot could be made using two dining chairs and sacks sown together, take a look and see (watch to the end it's quite hysterical!).
And so friends, as we check our sails and ask the Lord to direct our path in the moving weeks I pray that we'll find new rhythms, unforced rhythms of grace as Jesus invites us into (Matt 11:28). I pray our hearts would sing a fresh song of joy as we learn to see with new eyes the wonder of love, friendship and life. I pray we'll keep in step with Him, the Lord of the dance and move left even though we want to lean right and that we'll stay open to possibilities we once thought not possible, and as life throws us a sack, let's make a baby bed! :)