A Walk in the ParkSister Winne McGarry OP
A walk in the park – sanctioned daily exercise
Lockdowns! Social distancing! Live streamed Masses! These became the norm when covid-19 hit the world stage.
Life as we knew it changed.
Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives, was the new mantra.
On my daily walk in the park, anti-social behaviour was part of the course.
Negative avoidance showed positive concern; joggers, walkers and plodders vying for the broadest route.
Early one morning I joined in the live streaming of the Requiem Mass for one of our Dominican brothers. A very poignant experience! His fellow friars in residence were present but no other mourners, and no coffin. It was with a sad heart that I ventured out that day for my treasured walk in the park. Thoughts of loss and death weighed heavily on my heart at the passing of a friend and of his unusual Requiem.
As I circled the pond I was jolted out of my reverie by a sudden gift of new life, a mother duck leading her flock of ducklings to water. It felt like a resurrection moment.
My mood lightened and my thoughts shifted to the good times we’d shared. I’ve been to the park many times since and have never had a glimpse of mother duck and her brood. But I did see them that sad day.
Lockdowns, Social distancing and Mass live-streamed! Covid-19 is regulating how we live. Celebrity culture has given way to real life heroes – medical staff, carers, shopkeepers, utility workers, IT technicians, council workers, transport workers, who daily risk their lives to help others and us. May God protect them and bring us all safely through this crisis.
In the meantime I’ll continue my daily walk in the park. Maybe I’ll see mother duck and her brood again.
Adendum: Shortly after Easter Sunday I was delighted to see my little ducklings again, happily swimming on the pond. Life goes on! Please God one day before too long our present mantra of Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives, will give way to one that is joyful and life affirming..