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Operation Resume

authenticity Jun 20, 2020

It is time. I really think it maybe time. I don’t think I want it to be, but I do believe it may be time to pick up the strings of our lives. Not the life that went before, because I hope that I, at least, have learned that there were parts of the life that went before that I do not want back now, but at the very least the resuming of all that we are now allowed to do, with caution, instead of fear.

Yes. I think it may be time to accept that we are no longer in limbo. That a pandemic that has been both a blessing and the most terrible of curses, is now in retreat and that we have to consider sending our children back into the world, pick up the pieces of the routines and rituals we abandoned in order to facilitate their constant presence at home, and remember what it was to shop in places where we felt entirely safe and did not have to pre-empt danger lurking on every shelf.

Of course life isn’t what it was. Some beloved businesses are gone. Children may never again know what it is to interact with instinct instead of caution, we wear masks, rub gel into our hands before we grace the aisles of the supermarket and still cannot do much of what once felt like part of the very fabric of our days. But so much is coming back and we have to understand that we cannot hide away for always, nor grip too tightly onto what may in retrospect, seem like halcyon days, while the rest of the world moves on.

For me this means now insisting that Finley places a tentative step outside our front door, despite his anxiety, for it is terribly important that none of us allow anxieties to become too deep-rooted.

It means setting aside what could be considered indulgence, now that shock has retreated at the same pace as the Corona Virus itself. Taking our eyes off the news and back on to that which feeds creative minds instead of adrenal glands. Shifting our days to once again embrace regular waking and sleeping hours, marking out with more commitment the hours we work at home and reclaiming our weekends so that they represent the break we need in the midst of that dedicated work.

You see while I don’t think it was ever going to be possible to forever keep the festival feel of life perpetually at the heart of our closest families, there is no doubt that quarantine has shown us what is really important and ultimately what it is that really does shore us against our own ruin. And none of it is complicated. We need good food, vitamin D, and homes that feel like hugs. We need flowers, film and books. Hands in soil and long baths. Board games, phone calls and walks in cool forests. Rooms that never feel claustrophobic and relationships with those we live with, that feel respectful.

This then is the stuff of life, not days run by a dictatorial clock, the constant rush from one club, game or meeting to another, entire days spent wandering around shops buying things we don’t need, drive-in junk food, celebrity shenanigans, or expensive take-out coffee. We don’t need it now and we didn’t need it then, we just didn’t know it, because we were trapped in the whirligig of consumerism and life wouldn’t let us step off, if only to catch our breath.

In isolation I have found resources I didn’t know I had, a stillness in a head I did not realise was booming with noise, resilience I could not have imagined and the re-discovery of the creativity I had long put to bed. I have picked up my paintbrush again to transform furniture, sourced what I need from the abundance of good hearts in our lovely village, and discovered in my family, a deep sense of respect for each other I barely knew existed. We have eaten better and talked more. We have created a garden, re-arranged rooms to better suit our way of life, and here at BrocanteHome, I have reclaimed the blogger I once was and stepped back into my own peace of mind by allowing myself the time to truly think about what I want my work to be going forward.

So yes, though it may be time to step out of the limbo that has been quarantine, we do so better equipped I think for a future we have had time to carve out for ourselves. To follow a map we have had time to study and to come out the other side of the kind of fright we could never have even begun to imagine, with cautious hope, sorrow for all those we have lost, and and understanding of all the tiny joys that really do encompass a life less ordinary.

Today then, Finley is mastering the art of creating the perfect gluten free cherry brownie and Ste is building a tiny wall across the lawn so we can create a flagged space for raised beds and a little greenhouse. And I am here, in my happy place, talking to you in my head and letting the words steep out of fingers flying across a keyboard. Later I will go and buy a bunch of spring onions and another of freesia from the farm down the lane and wonder at the simple bliss of being able to shop without military style planning.

We are settled, all of us, and while it would be possible to go and do a lot of the things we couldn’t have done only a few weeks ago, now it seems we don’t really need to: for what we have is enough, and probably always was.


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