Today’s blog is a bit more personal than business related, but given the current circumstances, I just wanted to share some thoughts to help us through these ‘different days’.
This plate was given to me when I was seconded to the Youth Justice Agency to help with their internal and external comms. It was made by young people at Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre outside Bangor and was given to me as a leaving gift in 2008.
My colleagues in YJA knew I came from the countryside so with the help of the young people they designed and made me a lovely idyllic scene – a cottage with a red door and the fire on, rolling hills, trees and a picket fence.
I wonder what they thought my life was like as they made it. Did they dream of being out near the Mournes staying in a cute cottage? Did they wonder what it would be like to roam the fields and taste the fresh country air?
In lockdown we have all been given an idea of what it feels like to have our freedom taken away. To not go where we want to or meet whom we want to. To not see or hug our families and friends. To have the essentials but be restricted in our leisure pursuits and confined to in-home entertainment. Maybe it helps us understand the story of young people or indeed adults that are imprisoned a bit better.
I have been grateful these past few weeks to live in the countryside and have space around me to walk and not feel as confined by the necessary coronavirus restrictions as I look upon rolling fields and blue skies. But it’s not always perfect and like living in a city, it has its challenges too.
Life in the countryside isn’t always quiet and peaceful. At times, the roads are busy with tractors in springtime and harvest, sometimes animals break out of fields causing havoc in gardens and chaos on the roads. And the smells, well they can be as nice as fresh cut grass but there is a certain supplement to make them grow that doesn’t always smell as good!
Your experience of lockdown will be different but it’s important we ask ourselves, what can we learn? Living through a pandemic, why not take time to record or create something to remind you of these days – it could be a diary entry, a poem, a drawing, a video. Then, when we are fit to meet again, we can share our stories together, the ups and the downs, the struggles and the joys. You may even want to share them via your favourite social media channel.
So here’s to understanding other stories, not using stereotypes to define people, being patient enough to listen to realise we all have pains and heartache and to appreciate and offer space for everyone to tell their story and be heard.
Stay safe, Rebecca
This article was written by purplerain