A tonic for these troubled times

April 6th, 2020 10:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Innishannon author Alice Taylor taking some time to recharge her batteries in her garden which she says is a special blessing right how.

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In all our lives there are so many things we plan to do ‘someday' or 'when we have the time’. Well, maybe the time is now. We have been parachuted into a scary world, but some good can come of it

By Alice Taylor

ARE you cocooning or self-isolating? At the moment they both mean the same thing, but it’s amazing the different picture each word paints.

Isolation brings to mind punishment by solitary confinement, whereas cocooning paints a picture of self-caring and nurturing. Cocooning comes from the natural world of our bees and the dictionary defines it as to ‘envelop in a protective and comforting way.’

Those who are not cocooning are caring and sharing – from a distance.  Some years ago there was a popular song ‘From a Distance,’ which we can now sing with a pleasant smile if someone is not maintaining the advised distance.

We have been parachuted into a scary new world and we are all endeavouring not to be overwhelmed. But if we over-think things. that is exactly what will happen. Our minds could so easily overwhelm us. Covid-19 could attack our bodies, but we ourselves could let it into our minds and destroy our sense of well-being which would achieve nothing, but make us paranoid.   

Now is a good time to be living on a farm as there is calm and healing in nature and the animal world.  But we are not all lucky enough to be on farms so thank god for gardens, woods, open churches,  rivers,  sea sides and the odd quiet by-road (although most roads are a lot quieter at the moment and safer for walking).

Some years ago we had a retired hospital matron working with us and whenever a crisis occurred, she would stand back and say: ‘Now what’s to be done?’ And a plan of action came into play.

So, in the present circumstances, let’s ask ‘What’s to be done?’  And undoubtedly the first thing to be done is to do exactly as we are being told. Our government and health services are doing an amazing job and the best and only thing for each one of us now it to do is exactly as they are instructing.

They have our best interests at heart and want us to survive to tell the tale.  But having ascertained the correct amount of necessary information, an overload of unnecessary information could be damaging to our sense of well-being.  So best not to immerse ourselves in a constant flow of coronavirus news.  Much better to keep ourselves occupied doing selected projects as there is therapy in that.

And people are doing amazing things. Every day we hear of kindness and goodness coming to the fore. How great is that? Families are reaching out to each other and supporting each other.  We can really be wonderful when we take the time.

Take time to talk to each other on the phone, time to email each other and even time to sit down and write a letter.  In these stressful times, how lovely it would be to get a letter.

There was a time when it was not uncommon to hear someone singing or whistling as they worked, or even when out walking.

It was a very cheery sound and wouldn’t it be lovely to hear it again? It would cheer us all up and lighten our hearts.

In all our lives there are so many things we plan to do ‘someday, when we have the time’. Well maybe the time is now.

Kindness and generosity of spirit takes thought and time and now we have plenty of both.  Maybe now is the time, if there is a family rift or old grudge between people, to let it dissolve and evaporate. How trivial are old sores now in this new order?

Did we ever think that concern for the environment and Brexit could be so totally wiped out?  Matters that were convulsing the world just a few weeks ago are now no more. This new reality has focused us all in one direction.  Nothing focuses the mind like mortality. But we can be so grateful that our very young are not in the greatest danger and also that we are facing into the summer months when the good light will lift our spirits  and we can go out into the great out doors. Cocooning and caring and sharing at a safe distance is the new order. And if we all sing from the same hymn sheet by helping  our wonderful  healthcare workers in caring for ourselves and others, we will one day look back and be proud of  how great we were during this crisis.

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